Virtual reality is increasingly widespread in the automotive world. Designers can drive future cars long before they go into production and even define their interior layout before actually building a prototype. Taking advantage of this technology, we get behind the wheel of a Leon to discover its interior and drive around the streets of Barcelona without having to leave the building(*).
At the centre of design.
A 360º video shows the interior of the new SEAT Leon.
“Upon entering the new Leon, a sensation of being in the centre of the passenger compartment envelops the driver and other occupants”, says SEAT interior designer David Jofré. That was one of the main goals of the design team. In the new Leon, everything focuses on producing a welcoming effect on the occupants. “We introduced new design features on the dashboard and doors to create a wraparound effect. This feeling is created by the decorative mouldings that surround the dashboard and continue along the front doors”, David explains.
Like a glove.
Every element has been designed with ergonomic precision to make the interior space more comfortable. “The high seat backs and the maximum possible width in the upper area offer more comfort and protection, while emphasising the car's sporty character”, the designer says.
Smooth surfaces and a large contact area with the occupant make it fit like a glove, providing a sense of protection. The rear seats are also more spacious thanks to the 50-millimetre increase in the wheelbase of the new Leon, which has had a direct impact on legroom. “You may think that 50 millimeters isn't that much, but it's the difference between knees touching the front seats or not. It's a lot of space if we're talking about comfort and it was one of the main challenges we set ourselves”, points out Jaume Sala, Head of Interior Design at SEAT.
If on the outside the full LED headlights and coast-to-coast rear light signal an evolution in the design of the new Leon, on the inside the lighting is also key to this transformation. Light surrounds the entire dashboard and continues along the doors, thus increasing the wraparound effect. Moreover, it is not only decorative. “It also has a number of outstanding features, such as indicators of the presence of motorcycles approaching from the rear”, explains David.
The centrally located 10" infotainment display is the star attraction in the interior, featuring a Gesture Control system that makes user interaction much easier. “The prominent, raised position of the screen enhances the driver's experience of having control of the car at their fingertips, whether interacting with multimedia, climate control or driving assistants”, says Jaume. Another advantage of the floating display is that the dashboard has been lowered, thus increasing visibility.
A floating dashboard and 10" display for maximum functionality with the fewest buttons.
It is also the first time that the entire design interface has been created in SEAT's new digital laboratory. “The design and digital departments have worked closely together from the beginning to bring out the best of each world. The goal was to provide a fully digital experience by reducing the physical buttons to a minimum, so that with one look you can access all the content”, says David. For Jaume “it has been a complete revolution in our fields, digital and interior design, and we can proudly say that have managed to translate it into something of great beauty.”
“All areas of the console are easily accessible and visible in order to provide maximum functionality. The storage cubbies for different types of everyday objects have been maximised, without compromising the essence of the clean design of the space”, says Jaume. In short, it is an interior designed to enhance the experience that goes beyond driving the vehicle.
(*) To enjoy the experience on an Apple iOS mobile device we recommend you use the YouTube app: https://youtu.be/KcGjh-HOjj0