Automotive equipment

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Dashboard and steering wheel

As a rule, all components that are visible to the driver and to the passengers in the interior of the vehicle are referred to as interior fittings . Any existing luggage compartment covers in station wagons are generally combined with the trim and built-in parts of the luggage compartment as a luggage compartment or luggage compartment .


These include:

  • Front seat and rear seat system with controls
  • Door trim / s with controls
  • General cladding (e.g. on the vehicle pillars )
  • Instrument panel with all fittings (radio, air conditioning, navigation device, instrument cluster, air vents, airbag, etc.)
  • Sky including sun visors
  • Carpets
  • Center console with all fixtures (handbrake, storage compartments, etc.)
  • Hat rack
  • Sun blinds
  • steering wheel
  • Inside mirror

The windows, on the other hand, are assigned to the exterior of the vehicle.

Design of the interior

In addition to the design of the body, which is the first thing you notice, the design of the interior is an essential point in vehicle development. Here, attention is not only paid to the appearance of the individual elements, the feel and the interplay between material, shape and colors also play a decisive role. In addition to these superficial criteria, the usability, the placement of the switches and controls, and the safety of the occupants ( airbag , no sharp edges) are important decision-making factors. With today's design of vehicles with ever flatter front and rear windows, air conditioning and ventilation of the interior are becoming more and more important. The smell and the recycling of the materials and material mixtures used play an increasingly important role today in the design and development of the interior. Because of this variety of requirements and the complexity of the built-in components, the development of an interior is a task for many specialized departments within an automobile company.

The trim parts in the vehicle interior not only meet aesthetic requirements, but also functional ones, such as high resistance to scratches. Depending on customer requirements, very different materials are used, such as aluminum , carbon , wire mesh, precious wood , leather , textiles and various plastics.

Front seat

Driver's seat


The front seat is usually positively connected to the floor of the passenger compartment via two steel profile rails . A steel frame is attached to these profile rails, which takes on the load-bearing function for the seat cushion and the mostly swiveling seat back. The backrest itself also consists of a frame which also forms supports for the seat back and the headrest. The actual upholstery for the seat and the backrest consists of foams of different hardness and can be covered with various types of fabric or leather or combinations thereof. For sport seats, a harder foam and more contoured, i.e. H. Padding is used that is better adapted to the driver's body. A plastic core is used for the headrests, which is covered with appropriate foam and cover. Depending on the vehicle type, the seat belts (retractors and locks) are also integrated in the seat or backrest. With mechanically adjustable seats, all controls for adjusting the seat are attached to the seat itself. There are different concepts for electrically adjustable seats: some manufacturers place the elements on the seat itself, some manufacturers place the control buttons in the door panel and still others find a place in the center console useful.


Depending on the vehicle class, more or fewer functions are integrated in a front seat. In the case of a small car, this can be limited to the fore / aft adjustment, the backrest angle adjustment and the adjustment of the headrest. The following additional adjustment options and functions can be built into a seat: seat height adjustment, seat inclination adjustment, enlargement / lengthening of the thigh support , lumbar support (support of the lumbar spine), massage function, air conditioning (heating and cooling), contour adaptation to the body (for sporty driving), active Headrests (are automatically moved towards the head in the event of an accident) ... In addition, various storage options can be attached under the seat. For the rear passengers, additional functions can be built into the backrest or headrest. These include simple storage nets, can holders, folding boards as in airplane seats or LCD monitors for multimedia applications. In station wagons, MPVs or similar vehicles, the backrest of the passenger seat can usually be folded down completely, creating a continuous loading area up to the tailgate. With some models, it is also possible to simply remove the front passenger seat in order to obtain an even larger loading area.


  • Hans-Hermann Braess, Ulrich Seiffert: Vieweg manual automotive technology. 2nd edition, Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Braunschweig / Wiesbaden, 2001, ISBN 3-528-13114-4 .
  • Dieter K. Franke: VAG manual, Do it yourself, used car purchase-accessory installation-care. 1st edition, ADAC Verlag GmbH, Munich, 1984, ISBN 3-87003-227-8 .

See also