Oldsmobile Incas concept
Developed by Italdesign, the 1986 Oldsmobile Incas had a full-width instrument panel with multiple screens. Looking at all of those red digits might make you want to watch the Back to the Future trilogy to see the DeLorean time machine once again.
Lamborghini Athon concept
As one would come to expect from a Lamborghini concept, the Athon's interior was outlandish. Its electronic readouts must have been a sensation back in 1980 when the Bertone-designed showcar was unveiled. The pod located to the left of the single-spoke steering wheel had the controls for the windscreen wipers and indicators.
VW Orbit concept
A forgotten Volkswagen concept, the Orbit had quite possibly one of the most advanced dashboards ever seen in a 1980s concept. From the "Infovision Processor" and CD player to the massive instrument cluster and touch-sensitive buttons, Italdesign's Orbit from 1986 was a geek's delight.
Nissan CUE-X concept
Despite being 32 years old, this dashboard has managed to withstand the test of time and we wouldn't mind seeing it on a production Nissan today. The colorful screen in the center console provided access to GPS navigation, climate controls, and even chassis information.
Italdesign Orca concept
Look at all the pretty colors! One of the busiest instrument clusters we have ever seen, with an equally cluttered steering wheel. On the left side, there's another small display about the vehicle's status.
Peugeot Quasar concept
This Sci-Fi interior was possible with help from Clarion as the electronics company was in charge of developing those massive screens. As shown in the image, the 1984 Quasar had a color central screen with navigation, not to mention the fact it sent and received telex messages.
Aston Martin Lagonda
You could say the wedge-shaped Series II Lagonda launched in 1976 was way ahead of its time as it had a trio of 5-inch CRT screens serving as the instrument cluster.
Mazda MX-03 concept
A technological tour de force from Mazda, the MX-03 had an all-digital dash positioned behind a jet fighter-styled steering wheel. It even featured a head-up display and an onboard telephone - not too shabby for 1985, right?
There is something classy about the instrument cluster of this 1984 Cressida that we can't put our finger on. Rather than cramming several displays into a small space, Toyota decided to go with a wider panel incorporating large and easy-to-read screens.
Known as the "Electro Multi Vision," the full-color CRT display of the second-generation Toyota Soarer doubled as a TV when the car was stopped. It also had selectable display modes, allowing the driver to pick from multiple info screens. Pretty impressive for 1986, isn't it?
When Bertone was tasked to do “something delicious” with the Volvo 343, this is what he came up with back in 1979. The Tundra's dual digital dash layout makes us think of the latest Mercedes E-Class and S-Class. It proved to be too wild for Volvo, but Citroën did adapt the design for its BX and even had a BX Digit version with a digital dash.
The last hurrah for the Opel Monza, the sporty GSE came out in 1983 with several LCD screens, including a nifty rev counter on the right side and four bars on the left.
This wouldn't be a proper list without the Buick Reatta. While it might not have the coolest digital dash (though it's quite classy) , it features an early infotainment system with a touchscreen. Yes, a touchscreen, in 1988. But this wasn't the first car to have this setup as Buick was the first to install a touchscreen in a production car in 1986 with the Riviera.
Subaru XT 4WD 1800 Turbo
If you're into old video games, you'll likely appreciate the arcade game-styled digital dash of the Subaru XT4. It was an optional feature and it actually tilted with the steering wheel.
Featured in our Concept We Forgot series, the Karin concept from 1980 had a peculiar three-seat interior with an avant-garde dashboard incorporation a screen in the middle acting as the instrument cluster. The digital speedometer and tachometer flanked the central air vents.
Alfa Romeo 90
The Quadrifoglio Oro (QO) came as standard with the digital dash featuring a fluorescent light. It had a fairly advanced trip computer showing fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, distance left before running out of fuel, exterior temperature, time, and a digital chronometer.
If it weren't for the steering wheel, one would be tempted to say this is the cockpit of an airplane. The retro-futuristic digital dash moved together with the steering wheel and the levers.
Toyota Celica 2.0 GT-R
With a rather unusual combination of rectangles and ovals in different sizes, this one was likely developed by someone with a soft spot for geometry.
Surrounded by a plethora of buttons, the display in the Vector W8 was just as cool as the rest of the car. It had four different screens of information to choose from - quite impressive for the early 1990s.
Chevy Corvette C4
Probably the most popular here, the fourth-generation Corvette came as standard with an LCD instrument panel. It proved to be quite problematic over the years (pulsating / flickering or going dark entirely), but this list is purely about the design, hence why it deserves to be here.
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