SEE | These car dashboards can easily be mistaken for fighter jet interiors

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Mostly models from Japanese automakers make up the list.

The interior of the MK4 Toyota Supra is known as the pilot's cockpit.

New cars have streamlined dashboards with intuitive infotainment touchscreens.

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There's probably no better feeling than being behind the wheel of a performance car and getting to feel the speed first-hand. Car interiors have changed drastically over the decades, going from basic hard plastic trim to more sharp designs and featuring all sorts of intricate touchscreens.

Automakers have experimented with various interior designs over the decades, ranging from digital instrument clusters to centrally-positioned seats. Both exterior and interior styling was subjective a couple of decades ago. What people described as horrible then can now be considered timeless or nostalgic.

Like many other factors to consider when buying a vehicle, an interior's look and feel can also be a deal breaker for some, so no one wants to get behind the wheel of a somewhat unsatisfactory car.

Lexus LC500
2022 Lexus LC500 Convertible interior

Come inside

The higher you go up the luxury vehicle echelon, the better the interiors (and designs) get - Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are good barometers of this. Volvo completed scientific experiments that revealed how beautiful car designs could evoke a range of feelings very close to basic human emotions. The wonders of technology are making so many things more possible now than ever before.

READ: If there's one performance car that desperately needs a new model, it's the Nissan GT-R

Many jokes are made about the Fiat Multipla and how ugly it is - both inside and out. Motor Biscuit described the car as "the original styling looked to be inspired by something between a squished insect and an alien that crashed down to Earth from Outerspace."

The inside of a fighter jet is pretty straightforward with no room for niceties - as mentioned above - and, like a jet, a performance car is all about speed. The dashboard layouts of these cars resemble that of a fighter jet, and not in a bad way. Do you agree?


Can you think of other examples that can be added to this list? Email us, or share your comment below.


2021 Peugeot 2008 interior
2022 Peugeot 2008's i-Cockpit

Audi R8 (Type 42)

The Ingolstadt-based brand changed the performance landscape when it debuted the crème de la crème of its sacred Audi Sport division in 2006. The Type 42 R8 came with two engines: a 4.2-litre V8 with 309kW and 430Nm, and a 5.2-litre V10 with 391kW/530Nm – whilst enjoying a successful spell on the production line. Everything is aimed toward the driver, from the air vents to the various function knobs, to make nothing challenging to access.

Audi R8
Audi R8 (Type 42)

Honda Civic Type R (FN2)

The FN2 was the very first Civic graced with the Type R badge to be sold in South Africa in 2007. It came with an aspirated, VTEC-equipped 2.0-litre engine that generated 148kW and 193Nm, sent to the front wheels. As is common with Type R models, sections like the carpets, seats and door panels are covered in red. The instrument cluster shape follows a semi-circle layout, along with a solitary speedometer and a higher positioned gear lever.

Honda Civic Type R
Honda Civic Type R (FN2)

Mazda RX-7 (FD)

The only pistonless engine makes it onto the list, but not for its famed spinning Dorito. Many local petrol heads first got to see the inside of the RX-7 on the big screen when Dom Toretto got into his red one. It seems as though Japanese automakers borrowed a few interior style cues from each other - as the MK4 Supra follows a similar pattern.

Mazda RX-7
Mazda RX-7 (FD)

Toyota Supra (A80)

The fourth-generation Supra, alongside other greats like the Nissan Skyline GT-R and Honda NSX Type R, once ruled the roost in the 90s twilight for Japanese performance cars. The Japanese have never been much for aesthetics - instead heralded for their mechanical genius. The A80 Supra came with a bulletproof and tune-happy twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre engine that produced 206kW and 434Nm. Many people have referred to the interior of the MK4 Toyota Supra as closely resembling that of a fighter pilot's cockpit due to the instruments and air vents all honed towards the driver.


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