Designers Talk#10
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Interior design

A new type of compact car interior offering a spacious and quality feel

A spacious feel that makes a car seem roomier than its actual size, as well as a quality feel that makes the owner proud of his or her selection. These are design qualities that appeal to everyone, regardless of age, gender or nationality.

Focusing on these global values and the local, practical needs of Indian and Thai customers, Honda designed the Brio's interior, whose major theme would be the unification of physical and psychological space.

A design combining a spacious feel with the joy of ownership

Throughout its history of producing automobiles, Honda has created many designs. All of them have been based on the principle of "man maximum, machine minimum," according to which Honda strives to minimize the size of the car's mechanical components while making the space for occupants as large and comfortable as possible.

In designing the Brio, Honda designers sought to realize this principle at the highest level while keeping the price of the automobile affordable for customers. To do so, they looked carefully for ways to combine a dynamic, strong-presence exterior with an interior roomy enough for adult occupants. In the process, they discovered the value to be achieved by dispensing with everything that is unnecessary.

Shaving everything down to the essentials for a spacious, comfortable interior

To create the instrument panel, the interior designer worked directly with the engineer, and together they developed an extremely simple structure in which the functional parts are concentrated and other surfaces are shaved down to the minimum. The result is a spacious feel for the upper bodies of the front occupants. In the same way, the door interiors and lower portion of the instrument panel are shaved and slenderized, giving the knees and feet extra physical space.

The specially designed shape of the glove compartment interior gives it ample storage volume, and the front seats feature slenderized backs, resulting in extra legroom for the rear occupants, accommodating the relatively long arms and legs of Indian customers. In addition, all of these elements are designed to help make the Brio feel as visually open as possible.

By pursuing spaciousness in this way, the designers created an interior that was simple and pleasant in every detail. The two-tone interior color scheme that the designers selected had the double benefit of emphasizing this interior shape while adding to the spacious feel. The doors and the glove compartment are both in beige, which highlights the connected lines of these elements.

On the other hand, the areas around the concentrated meters and the door switches are in brown. This two-tone color scheme brings out the various surfaces while adding a touch of elegance to the interior. Upon entering the Brio, occupants immediately enjoy a physical and psychological spaciousness that greatly exceeds expectations for a car of its size, as well as a feeling of quality.

Making car travel even more enjoyable

An open, spacious interior is not the only element that has characterized the design of Honda automobiles. Over the years, Honda has also sought to provide the driver with an exceptionally enjoyable driving experience.

The goal was to have Brio drivers experience a strong sense of satisfaction from driving an automobile. To this end, Honda created a cockpit with concentrated controls and a quality feel. Adding a sporty and refined touch, 3D triple meters feature floating gradations and orange illuminated rings for a strong presence and excellent visibility day and night.

To develop the detailed shapes of the independent speedometer, tachometer and warning light array, the designer worked closely with the engineer, perfecting every detail of the meters' functional parts. By developing a unified circuit board to accommodate all of the meters, the team enhanced cost performance and the pleasure of the driving experience as well.

Since customers in India and Thailand enjoy listening to the latest music on digital players, the design team paid special attention to the look of the audio controls. Unified in appearance with the instrument panel, the silver and lustrous black controls offer an advanced and elegant feel.

The seats feature thick cushions for comfort and a bountiful appearance, while the headrests are unified with the seat backs for a sporty look. From the beginning of the Brio development process, the team scrutinized the characteristics and production methods of potential seat fabrics. They ultimately selected simply woven fabrics with the right feel for a warm climate and good holding ability to prevent occupants from sliding.

Although a larger car may offer considerable comfort and pride of ownership, the appeal of a compact car lies in its ability to let the driver become one with the vehicle. In fact, if the goal is unity between car and driver, a compact is the ideal choice. To bring out this unique compact car appeal, Honda dispensed with everything unnecessary in the Brio, giving it a design that brings out its simplicity and usability to best effect.

Embodying Honda’s passion for compact automobiles—the Brio

To create a design that combined the most spacious interior possible with a quality feel leading to pride of ownership, the Brio design team had to take Honda's automobile R&D to an even higher level. With a global perspective, they researched everything that could lead to additional space and quality, experiencing these elements for themselves to more deeply experience their customers' needs. They placed a special emphasis on understanding the lifestyles and environments of the people living where the Brio would be introduced and the way they interact with automobiles.

To the designers, it was all about exploring every method of increasing the feel of space and quality within limited dimensions and with a limited number of parts. They had the satisfaction of developing a compact automobile that combines a strong-presence exterior with a spacious interior. "What is the ideal compact car?" Serving as a clear answer to this question, the Brio embodies Honda's passion for compact automobiles.

*All Brio photos show Thai models

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