Be Careful What You Wish For II

In December 2014 we ran an item about the changing styles of luxury car interiors. 

2017 Lincoln Continental interior in its Rhapsody form.
2017 Lincoln Continental interior in its Rhapsody form:

A year or so later we find someone answering our calls.

In an article about how Lincoln do not want to copy the Germans, there is also discussion of the Lincoln Continental’s blue interior option. Here is a chance then to see if blue interiors are something that appeal to anyone other than automotive design commentators. My impression is that this is a welcome bit of bravery on the part of Lincoln. The all-blue colourway creates a very pleasant atmosphere that manages to be cool and exciting at the same time. The colour shows up the metal detailing to good effect. I’ve been wishing

2015 Audi A3:
2015 Audi A3:

for something like this for quite a while. One of the first gauges of its success is whether other concept cars start trying variations on the same theme and also whether the style is reproduced in other production cars. It might very well be that Kia or Hyundai could go for this on some of their smaller cars which have demonstrated some colour panache in recent years. I doubt if Audi, BMW or Mercedes will be copying this anytime soon. Of the three, Audi’s housestyle offers the least conflict between form and colour. An Audi A3 in a dark blue or dark red would be very enticing though.

2015 BMW 7 series interior
Can you imagine this in blue?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

25 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Wish For II”

  1. I like the blue Lincoln, although for practical reasons I’d judge a light coloured steering wheel a step too far. It reminds me that the things I miss most about my Audi are the seats, So much so that I’m seriously wondering how much it would cost to import some of the non-charcoal-grey options available for the Cube interior.

  2. You can have nice blue leather seats on the Mercedes S class! Unfortunately only the seats are blue.

    1. Look closer – that blue extends to the top of the dashboard and doors too…

    2. Scratch that, it looks terrible. What a mess.

    1. Those are fabulous, although the blue option does remind me of the dashboard from a last generation Fiesta. You can’t beat a spot of claret, mind.

  3. The Audi A1 is available with some blue parts – it looks rather cheap and ugly to my eyes:

    What i am missing is more colour for the floor carpet – they all (or nearly all) are grey. And all car companies are installing more plastic and less carpet and fabrics in their cars.
    Back to blue – in the 90ies a Porsche 911 was available in nearly every interior colour .

    1. Thanks Markus and Sam for those. Yes, the Audi is hard to like and the Porsche interiors are very easy to like indeed. I like the Germancarsforsale image and that kind of colour saturation is what I´d love on my XM. I´d love a deep green interior or even a deep blue. That would feel so different to be in than plain black. Nice – and pretty cheerful. It´s really pleasant to see something like that. I wonder what the uptake is for those options?

    2. Marcus, yes that looks pretty cheap to me, and not at all like an official Audi option – so, is it?

    3. A relative of mine used to own a Porsche 993 convertible with a blue leather interior. It didn’t appear to be unusual at all back in the day, but neither was the smell of Davidoff Cool Water.

    4. I had a small supply of that Cool Water, given to me as part of a sampler “variety pack”. I didn´t mind the smell but gave up my limited use of aftershave thereafter. I have to confess that it was 1990 and I used Boss aftershave. Who uses that stuff today? There are lakes of it in every chemist and department store yet I don´t notice anyone smelling of it.

    5. The blue Audi parts are parts of the individual interior programm of the A1 – so you can order an A1 in silver with golden (painted) air vent trims and a red shift knob and an orange door trim and a blue mirror cover.

    6. Isn´t the old dictum that the customer is always right open to question? That´s what you say to the customer, of course. What you think might be another matter. And I think telling the customer she or he is right might be doing the customer a disservice.

  4. A green interior! When have we last seen that? It must have been around 1978.
    I particularly dislike that nouveau riche look in the S-Class. Do they offer any sober, nicely coloured fabric (velour!) options for that ship? Or have they also died somwhere deep in the last century?
    The Porsches are quite nice, although I must agree with Markus on the carpets (though they have beautiful piping, don’t they?).

    1. I know for a fact that the W124 could still be ordered with velour upholstery as a very expensive option, so my guess would be that this was taken off the options list either by the time the W140 was introduced or when it was discontinued.

      The resources needed for ensuring the supply of velour fabric were, in all likelihood, eventually channeled into the development of the designo® granite veneer option.

  5. I must side with Laurent about the practicality, though note with satisfaction that the much respected commenters of DTW move in such rarified circles that such considerations as muddy shoes and oily hands never occur to besmirch their cars. My Citroen does have a blue carpet, in fact, but my habits are so bad that it spends its time covered with rubber floormats, so is pretty irrelevant.

    1. Thoughts of practicality are not unknown to me. The Xantia I owned had beige carpets, which the pre-owner wisely covered with rubber mats. I left them there. I also looked at a C6 with beige interior. I wouldn’t have minded the seats, but the beige steering wheel was the point to decide against it. It already looked grubby, and I hated the thought of having to clean it every week.

      So yes, as much as I like colour in car interiors, I’d opt for a black or brown steering wheel and matching carpets.

  6. I wasn’t really keen on an all-red or all-blue interior every time I played with the Porsche configurator, but the more I think about it the more I warm up to the idea. But I would prefer a bit more contrast personally, and the ability to mix e.g. black/dark grey on the top of the dashboard and colour beneath.

    1. In retrospective, it appears as though the introduction of colour coded steering wheels and dashboard tops in Jaguar’s X300 XJ marked the beginning of the stylistic americanization of Jagwar. For quite some time, I had been wondering as to why I prefer the XJ.40’s cabin to what is essentially just a mildly facelifted variation of it, until I figured out that the ’40 kept the black steering wheel and dashboard of the previous XJs, while the X300 didn’t.

  7. Of course, there was a time in the 80’s when you could only buy an MG Metro or Maestro with bright red carpets! They were certainly – erm – bright and cheery, although some found them a bit cheesy.

  8. Chris: It was the prospect of children clambering over the dark blue velour interior of an Opel Senator that chilled me the most. Car interiors today are incredibly robust and wipe-down. I wonder if this need eliminates some fabric options. If you have a car with a fine interior you are also obliging yourself to have a garage at both ends of the car´s usual drive and have a very urban existence and the kids must either be stowed in carrier sacks or sent on in another vehicle.

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