• Precision Cockpit Hints At The Future Of Acura’s Cabins

No more buttons!

With many automakers paying more attention to the design language of their cars, Acura went on a slightly different route at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the presentation of the Precision Cockpit, the automaker’s interpretation of its “next generation interior.” More importantly, Acura says that the cockpit is “near-production,” which basically means that minus a few tweaks here and there, this cockpit, from its layout to its design to its capabilities, is going to be what we’re going to see in future Acura models.

Somewhat surprisingly though, Acura used the layout of the NSX supercar as the basis for the concept, which the automaker said was done to showcase Acura’s goal of ratcheting up the sportiness on all its future models. The design of the Precision Cockpit itself is interesting, in part because of the striking two-tiered leather dashboard that extends the entire width of the cabin with minimal intrusion. The instrument panel has been removed from the dashboard equation completely as Acura opted to use a 12.3-inch display just behind the steering wheel. There’s actually two of those displays on the cabin, with the other one located in the top-layer of the dashboard.

Another unique feature of the Precision Cockpit is its ergonomic simplicity, highlighted by the noticeable absence of any buttons in the center console. The only thing you’ll see there is the driving mode dial, a visual and functional nod to the NSX. Other than that, the only thing worth navigating in the cabin is the curved touchpad on the center stack that operates the large central display. Apparently, Acura designed the touchpad with “absolute positioning,” making it easier for the driver to navigate around the central display. Ballin’.

The Precision Cockpit also comes with a suite full of other features, including compatibility to electrification and automated driving. It says a lot that a cabin loaded on tech will render such niceties like brushed metal, natural wood, leather, and Alcantara finishes as secondary attributes. But, this is the future for Acura’s cabins, and if it holds to form, that future is going to look pretty good.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

If this is the future, sign me up

Precision Cockpit Hints At The Future Of Acura's Cabins High Resolution Interior
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The Precision Cockpit is significant on a lot of fronts because Acura is giving us a clear indication on what its plans are moving forward. The fact that the cockpit itself was designed to accommodate electrification and automated driving tells you what the automaker’s direction is moving forward.

But, more than that, the Precision Cockpit is also a clear evolution from the cockpit we see in the Acura Precision Concept that Acura unveiled at the North American International Auto Show back In January. Put the pictures of the two cockpits side-by-side and you can immediately tell which of the two is the real concept version and which one is close to production. The layout is similar, but notice how much bigger the central display is on the concept? The concept cockpit even has three displays, two of which were translated into the Precision Cockpit and another, the one below the central display, that was taken out in favor of a more streamlined dashboard. Then there’s the difference in the steering wheel. While I like the sportier look of the leather-wrapped steering wheel on the Precision Concept, the one found on the Precision Cockpit is a lot more function, which partly explains why the latter is, as Acura repeatedly says, “near production.”

Now let’s take a look at how the Precision Cockpit could look on the production Acura NSX. Obviously, the production supercar’s interior isn’t as stylish as the one on the Precision Cockpit, but it does give us some hints on what possibilities are there for future versions of the NSX. Is it possible that the traditional instrument panel on the supercar is taken out in favor of having a 12.3-inch display? The same question can be asked on the NSX’s busy-by-comparison center console with all those buttons located below the central display.

Acura has a lot of room to work with here and it’s nice to see that the automaker is taking a different approach on preparing for the future of its models. Hopefully, the transition to the Precision Cockpit happens sooner than later because all signs point to that cockpit becoming one of the foundations of Acura’s future.

Read our full review on the 2016 Acura NSX here.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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