Automobile gauges are one of the most overlooked aspects of a car’s cabin. We take the design of gauges for granted because their main function is utility, and as long as they tell us what we need to know, we hardly need anything else from them. But an encounter with a stylish Swede has made us appreciate how a good-looking set of gauges can improve one's day-to-day motoring experience.
We just drove a Volvo V40 T4 for an enjoyable and lengthy review period. Like many premium automobiles, it has three driving themes that alter its characteristics: Elegance, Eco and Performance. This can be toggled via switches on the V40's left steering stalk.
Selecting a particular theme not only changes the car’s driving behavior, but also alters the look of the gauges. We've seen many luxury cars with digital gauges that change color, but this is the most tasteful implementation we've seen so far.
Eco comes in a light teal hue; Performance has an angry red color; and Elegance is represented by a, well, elegant brown shade. A feature that has wowed anyone who has been behind the V40's wheel is the gauge needle. It digitally illuminates the numbers as it points to them, so when your speed rises, you see a small ray of light climbing as well.
Sometimes, it's the seemingly mundane things that can leave a lasting impression.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo