See the evolution of the vehicle dashboard over the course of many generations in these fascinating gifs.
Dashboards. For some, a majority of their waking hours are spent sitting behind one stuck in traffic. Automotive designers have tried to make car interiors as livable as possible with each new generation of car, and that’s resulted in a vehicle’s dashboard becoming as identifiable with the times as any fashion trend.
Thanks to Budget Direct, we can get a time-lapsed view of just how a car’s interior has changed over the years by looking at how a Corvette, Mustang, and Corolla have evolved. Between the three, there are certain similarities that really stand out, like how the wheels were exceptionally large in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but then progressively got smaller after that. Then there were the media of the day: some cars were old enough to just have a radio, while later cars got tape decks and CD players.
Today’s automobiles have a large LCD screen that allows you to navigate a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Some of the more modern supercars don’t even have that and expect your phone to be all the screen you need.
There are also trends you can see within each car. The Corvette, for example, seems to be unable to make up its mind when it comes to displaying the logo on the steering wheel. It’s only in later generations that we see the Corvette logo become a fixture.
The Mustang started out with a logo-less wheel, but soon adopted the iconic stampeding horse and stuck with it. One thing that seems to never change with the Mustang, however, is the generally plain design of their cockpits. Everything is where it should be and nothing really stands out. That’s a Ford hallmark.
On the other hand, Toyota Corolla’s evolution is perhaps the most extreme. Starting out with the KE10 generation shows extreme and compact minimalism with all the necessities and nothing else. Then, as the car left Japan and grew into larger markets, the dashboard itself could open up.
By the time the KE70 and AE80-gen models arrived, the Corolla adopted an almost futuristic cabin before settling into smooth and clean modern lines by the mid-2000s. We expect the next generation to be even more interesting with full-width glass touchscreens and perhaps even a telescoping wheel as self-driving technologies finally mature.