At the core of my general automobile obsession is my love of interiors. I love the details inside a car that are nonessential for its operation, but ultimately tickle the fancy of drivers and passengers, and differentiate models and brands to hawk-eyed enthusiasts like myself. Life is too short to drive a car that simply operates. You need one that caters to and predicts your tactile needs, and does so in an elegant, hushed, pleasing manner.
This year, nearly every model, even those well past six figures, were available to poke and prod inside.
First up, Infiniti G Convertible. Not a recent release, but this turned aluminum trim has aged well over time. Actually feels like aluminum, not plastic. A sporty, Japanese-minimal pleasure.
Porsche had a brief period of sad, flimsy interiors in the early 2000s. That period is, happily, very much over. This is apparent thanks to the 911 Carrera black, tan, and silver interior, and the Cayenne Turbo alcantara and red stitch trim, both of which were pure delight to experience.
I’m consistently impressed with Volvo’s interiors, which in terms of quality, rival more expensive models from other brands. Don’t love the gloss wood trim, but I believe it can be optioned differently. Love that all the plastic and leather parts near the steering wheel match, and mesh well. Note the Aston Martin-esque gear shift with a translucent gear indicator.
Mercedes is just about to replace the S-class, but even this almost-retired model is a visceral, special experience. Crisp gauges and soft, incandescent mood lighting…and metallic-finish buttons. Yes please.
My favorite model of the show was the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe. Very much reeking of marketing ploy (or just parsing of terms), it is actually well executed, and presents a more slanted, stylish, DINK-primed alternative to the 5- and 7- series sedans.
On this particular model, I loved the oyster-pale interior, the padding and contours, and the roomy but cozy cabin. And, perforated leather gets me every time.
And finally, the king of all kings in horsepower and haul, the BMW M5. Despite not needing to impress power-nuts with an interesting cabin, it was chock full of nice details too. 8-ball gearshift, Bang & Olufsen aluminum speakers. Pleated black leather. I could spend days in its dark recesses.
Having a car that runs and performs the basic necessities is all anyone can ask for. But, in a more thoughtful, stylish, pleasant world, we get to drive and ride in rolling works of art. I’m glad I can work toward one day owning a vehicle that relaxes, pampers, and delights my senses.