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May 20, 2011  |  Comments
Top 5 innovative, tech dashboards

2011 Mercedes-Benz S400, with Splitview technology. MRSP from $91,000.

Top 5 innovative, tech dashboards

Driving in my 1997 Saturn SC1, with manual windows and door locks, a broken CD player, and no antennae—it is far from difficult to choose car models that make me envious due to their technologically-enhanced interiors.

But specifically zoning in on dashboards, I noticed quite a trend in the last car magazine I casually flipped through—some of these dashboards aren’t just mind-boggling tech-wise: some look like spaceships from out of this world!

So keeping in mind the heap of metal I call my car, it wasn’t the least bit difficult make this awesome list—comprised of what I believe to be the Top 5 cars with the ultimate technologically-advanced dashboards. Two LCD screens? Sure! Over a dozen speakers controlled by the wheel? Been there! But if you’re like me, and you want just a peek at what you don’t have, check out this list— The Top 5 “I WANT THAT” techy-dashboards in today’s cars.

2011 Hyundai Equus

2011 Hyundai Equus, MSRP from $58,000.

This is considered a luxury sedan and I think I know why: the dashboard is equipped with the Lexicon Logic 7 sound system for automobiles—yes, the same system used in recording sessions for Grammy-winning CDs now is patented in select vehicles. How many speakers at varying depths are installed? 17 (!) throughout the car, all controllable from – you guessed it – the dash. From cassettes in my Saturn to 17 speakers in this Hyundai? Yes, please.

2011 Lexus ES

2011 Lexus ES, MSRP $36,725.

This car absolutely takes the prize. Of course, most are optional features, but some come with the stock vehicle. How about: 14-speaker surround sound, wireless/Bluetooth and USB support for your MP3 collection through the dash, four choices in color combinations for your entire interior look, XM radio (free for a year—standard with traffic warnings that speak to you), voice recognition through the dashboard’s GPS system (“Go home” will get you home, no problem), and a “HDD Navigation system, [that] uses a hard disk drive to store maps and data, which allows it to operate much faster than previous DVD-based models.” Yes, you can say “Go to a Chinese Restaurant” and this car will take you to one. Here’s a full list of all available interior features.

2011 Lincoln MKX

2011 Lincoln MKX, MSRP from $39,415.

The stock model of the MKX comes equipped with the dashboard of my dreams. Stock. There isn’t fine print that states “Optional feature.” It actually says “Standard model.” What is this dashboard equipped with? SYNC with MyLincoln Touch. Yes, the MyLincoln Touch is old hat (but still cool) and combined with SYNC it’s a combination for love. The dashboard has two (not one, but two) 4.2’’ LCD touchscreens, (that’s 8’’!) corresponding with four distinct options: phone, navigation, climate and audio/entertainment functions. Each corner of the touchscreen corresponds to one of those options. On top of that, each side of the steering wheel gives you even more controls, such as audio volume and A/C level. With two USB ports an SD card reader, RCS video inputs, and the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for your passengers, the MKX’s media hub redefines how people consume and interact with media and information in their vehicles.

2012 Ford Focus Electric

2012 Ford Focus Electric, expected MSRP at release: $30,000, before tax savings.

For something a little more in my manual lock price range … According to TalkFord.com, dashboard technologies in the new electronic cars are aimed at helping more fuel-conscious drivers find electric stations, measure their miles per gallon, and even tell drivers how far until the next “boosting” station. It’s like having a little Earth Day buddy in your dash, all year long. Called MyFord Touch (and powered by Microsoft Sync –ring a bell?), important information such as battery life remaining is visible to the driver on screens on either side of the wheel: “In the cockpit, Focus Electric owners will interact with a unique execution of MyFord Touch, offering new levels of vehicle information personalization. Basic information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding budget and expected range surplus are all easily visible in the two 4.2-inch full-color LCD screens flanking the centrally mounted speedometer.”

Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid (and other Mercedes-Benz S-Series vehicles)

2011 Mercedes-Benz S400, with Splitview technology. MRSP from $91,000.

I had to mention the (optional) Splitview technology, because it is finally available in the US. Splitview is precisely what it sounds like: a single dashboard display screen that lets the driver and passenger simultaneously watch two separate things: the safe driver, for example, can keep an eye out on the fuel efficiency or the GPS navigation, while on the other side of the same screen the passenger can watch a movie –of course, using headphones for safety. Words don’t do this technology justice. Now, it’s just a matter of saving …

About Dara Solomon

Dara Solomon is a contributing writer and freelance SEO specialist in Boca Raton, Fla.
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  • Anonymous

    Only 90K to go for that last car! ;)