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Detroit 2019: Earth tones and warm metals make for cosy cabins

16 January 2019 | by Lem Bingley

We’ve seen a few concepts of late apply earthy browns and forest greens to their cabins, with metallic highlights picked out in the warm shades of gold, brass, copper and bronze. A notable example is the Renault EZ-Ultimo, seen at the Paris show last year, which decorated its cabin with walnut, green leather and champagne-lacquered aluminium. Or tear your eyes from the peacock blue seats and carpet of the Peugeot e-Legend seen at the same show and you’ll spot dark-chocolate wood and brass. The recent BMW iNext featured jade green and flesh pink fabrics with brown wood and bronze metal accents.


Concept cars at the Detroit show amplified this trend. Infiniti’s delightful QX Inspiration featured dark varnished Japanese cedar, chocolate brown leather and lavish use of genuine gold, which combined to breathe warmth over the white leather, white marble and grey textiles also used in the cabin.


GAC’s Entranze concept featured a floor reminiscent of military camouflage, with a jumbled hexagonal pattern of light brown, forest green and black Alcantara. The Entranze interior also featured liberal use of natural cork, dark green and oatmeal leather, off-white Alcantara, and a scattering of gold coloured accents.


Nissan’s IMs concept also made eye-catching use of gold highlights both inside and out, warming up an otherwise grey-themed show car.

As we approach a technological future of autonomous vehicles filled with screens and disembodied voices, it’s no surprise to see rising interest in more natural materials, earthy shades, and metals that reject the cold, clinical look.