From its fit and finish and structural leather storage pockets to its third-generation seat, Johnson Controls' Bespoke concept interior unveiled Jan. 14 at the North American International Auto show in Detroit speaks volumes about eco-friendly materials, weight reduction, and cockpit aesthetics.
With what the company calls a "zero gap" between the door panel and instrument panel, the interior stands apart from conventional cabins in which the gap is typically 6 to 8 mm (150 to 200 mm).
“That gap really impacts how consumers perceive quality,” Han Hendriks, Vice President, Advanced Product Development, Johnson Controls Automotive Electronics & Interiors, told AEI after the unveiling. "They can’t pinpoint what they see. But with tighter gaps and tighter radii throughout the interior, it gives a sense of quality following."
Zero gap is enabled by a stretchable, suspendible fabric that essentially has the IP nesting in the door. A compression-hybrid-molding door panel substrate carrier combines natural fibers and injection-molding processes to reduce weight and integrate components. A key feature of the door is a soft armrest that slides (without a hinge mechanism) to reveal a storage bin.
The center floor console’s armrest also has a storage bin concealed/revealed in similar fashion. Surrounding the center floor console is a removable, injection-molded plastic bin that catches dropped coins and other items that fall between the front seats and the center floor console. The console also features a wireless charging surface and leather saddle pockets that get structural rigidity via a thin injection molding that laminates with the leather material.
Bespoke also showcases a reconfigurable TFT gauge cluster in front of the driver; an 8.5-in touch capacitive display in the upper center IP zone for navigation, audio, and other interactions; and in-mold decorative switches.
“We’re integrating electronic functionality in what used to be these simple plastic surfaces,” Hendriks told AEI.
The cabin also features the third-generation Synergy seat. “The white [composite] shell is also the structure. With a traditional seat, it’s a metal frame that’s covered. In this case, the cover is the structure,” explained Hendriks. The seat’s trim application (achieved via CNC sewing and custom perforation) is also well suited to the premium market.
Bespoke emphasizes craftsmanship, removes weight by eliminating parts through smart design, and packages the presentation in a stylish format that enables customizable, advanced electronic solutions.