Ambience and ergonomics: the interior

Leather and aluminium: the atmosphere in the Nuvolari quattro's interior consists of a dialogue between organic and highly technical materials. The contrasting Stromboli black and Carrara white leather elements and the cool metal surfaces add structure to the layout of the dash panel, doors, and centre console.

The four individual, heavily contoured seats with integral belts are of typical sports car design and provide ample space for the driver and passengers. The high, substantial centre console, which continued through to the rear of the interior, has also been designed according to the classic GT philosophy: the driver and front passenger will feel themselves to be almost part of the vehicle. The three-point seat belts are attached on the insides of the seats.

As an occupant protection measure, two discreetly installed cameras for the "out of position" airbag system monitor the front passenger's seat position and vary inflation of the airbag accordingly.

The dash panel, which is covered by a semi-circular hood, combines classic GT architecture and advanced ergonomics. Two large round instrument dials - a speedometer and a rev counter - dominate the central viewing area. The centre console with the MMI display is clearly angled toward the driver.

The high centre console is extremely neat in appearance. At the front are the air-conditioning controls and telephone dialling buttons. The MMI terminal with the central control knob and surrounding function and control keys are located behind it and extremely easy to reach. This ergonomic principle set a new standard when it was introduced in the Audi A8 and was unanimously praised by the trade press.

The tiptronic gearshift lever has one shift gate. If the driver prefers to select gears manually, he or she can do so at shift paddles behind the three-spoke sports steering wheel - as in the Le Mans-winning Audi R8. The shift lever is then only used to select the P, R, and D modes.

Like the pushbutton-operated electro-mechanical parking brake, the gear shift mechanism has no mechanical connections whatsoever. In addition to the particularly tidy centre console which this provides, it opens up new potential uses for the console itself. The one in the Nuvolari can be opened to reveal an additional, easily accessible storage compartment for the driver. There is also storage space for the rear passengers' use in the rear section of the console.

Even the glove compartment is equipped with high-tech features. It is opened by fingerprint recognition ("one touch memory") rather than with a key. A sensor field the size of a stamp consisting of 65,000 electrodes scans the fingerprint and opens the lock after verification against memorised data. The advantage: whenever the owner has to let others drive the car -for example valet parking - valuables can safely be left in the glove compartment.

Surrounding light strips from the instrument panel via the side door trim to the rear are central interior design elements in the Nuvolari quattro. LEDs are again used as the light source; the illuminated surface distributes their light homogenously, lighting without glare. This lighting emphasises the elegant interior ambience while optimising the ergonomic qualities of the night-time design.

Luggage travels first class, too

One of the main characteristics of a Gran Turismo is that it is ideal for long-distance travel, which is why the Nuvolari quattro's luggage compartment has a volume of 350 litres - enough even for larger suitcases and travel bags. The materials and workmanship - deep-pile carpet and brushed aluminium - are of the same high quality as in the passenger area.

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