CES 2015: Volkswagen has provided a glimpse of what the dashboard of the future could look like in the form of the R Touch concept car on show in Las Vegas.
The Golf R Touch is basically the insanely quick 296bhp Golf R with a much smarter, more touchscreen-heavy dashboard. So you get all the practicality of the standard hatchback rocket, only now there are three displays to feast your eyes on and a control system akin to a smartphone or tablet.
There’s a centrally-located, 12.8-inch high resolution touchscreen lets you control multimedia functionality including music playback and navigation.
Beneath that is an 8-inch display with haptic feedback that basically does away with the need for physical buttons (those pressy things in normal cars). Air-conditioning, upping the temperature, adjusting your seat – ancillary functions are controlled by this smaller screen.
Last but not least is a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. Basically it’s a digital version of analogue dials for checking on fuel consumption, revs, speed – all the essential stuff a driver needs to know.
One not so useful but likable feature is the ambient lighting system, which lets the driver choose between 16.7 million colour combinations. You can even choose a welcome and shut down display for when the car is turned on and off, respectively, for a little extra personlisation.
The Golf R Touch goes against its name somewhat with the addition of gesture controls. A 3D camera in the cabin is able to track your hand movements, letting the driver initiate certain functions without touching a thing. Cue strange looks from anyone driving next to you as you repeatedly wave to turn on the air-con.
VW and other manufacturers are actually a little behind the times as Tesla’s Model S already has a 17-inch touchscreen display and, as a result, just two physical buttons on the dashboard.
The Golf R Touch is just a concept, but we can see all of the technology aspects being used in future VWs, especially when proximity tracking is already present in some of its current models. We’ll let you argue whether having all those extra potential distractions is a good or bad thing.