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      07-16-2007, 01:15 PM   #1
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M3 instrument layout

I have been disappointed with the recent trends in instrument layout, not just in BMWs, but in many other cars as well. I have two main issues with the trends:

1. There is a push toward displaying too much information all at once. As the cars are getting more instrumented via sensors, and hence becoming more intelligent, it is natural that the designers end up with a much broader range of information they can display to the driver. The mistake that is being made by many designers is not to layer that information and try to display most of it at the same time, which ends up in a cluttered instrument layout on the dash.

2. I HATE seeing stuff in between the speedometer and the rpm display. I really like my '04 325ci's layout for this reason: two large dials with nothing in between them. However, recently designers have been sticking fairly large size digital displays in between the two as if the information being displayed digitally at the very center is what the driver should be paying attention to the most while driving.

Which brings me to the following question: what do you think should be displayed on the instrument panel, and how much of it should be visible at the same time?

Here are some examples of current layouts (I like the Vantage layout the best):
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      07-16-2007, 01:17 PM   #2
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eh I feel indifferent.
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      07-16-2007, 01:23 PM   #3
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Happy with any of them, they are all attached to very nice cars.
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      07-16-2007, 01:31 PM   #4
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They all look great to me...change is great, I don't know why change is so hard to some people.

Regards,
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      07-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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tach on the left would drive me insane


I like that nice big tach on the P car, I like how the speedo is almost an afterthough
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      07-16-2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROAD EAGLE View Post
They all look great to me...change is great, I don't know why change is so hard to some people.

Regards,
No need to be an ass. I am not saying things should not change. I am asking how people think things should change.
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      07-16-2007, 01:41 PM   #7
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BMW's is the most boring and plain out of all, the Vantage looks realllly nice. However its weird seeing the tachometer going the other way.
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      07-16-2007, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward View Post
tach on the left would drive me insane


I like that nice big tach on the P car, I like how the speedo is almost an afterthough
+1, p car is thinking in the right direction but the cluster seems a bit busy to me.
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      07-16-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward View Post
I like that nice big tach on the P car, I like how the speedo is almost an afterthough
Agreed. Here is the F430 panel, but I doubt it is adoptable by the mainstream...
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Last edited by lucid; 07-16-2007 at 07:29 PM.
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      07-16-2007, 01:50 PM   #10
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BMW used to have the best instrument pannels ever build in automobil historie/industry. They set an example to anyone.
These days have long gone, BMW is no more than moderate IMO, I feel it is a shame for such a carbuilder with such a history.
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      07-16-2007, 02:38 PM   #11
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The BMW has the nicest, most legible gauges of all the ones shown here. The Porsche appears to be the most cluttered.

However, I agree that the junk in between the dials should be moved to below the dials. And, though the Porsche layout is cluttered, it at least contains one of the most important gauges in any car: oil pressure.

The lack of oil press and water temp on the M3 (and BMW in general) is a major shortcoming. Water temp is far more useful than oil temps, as a problem in the cooling system (i.e. leak or blown hose) would show up in coolant first.

-Dave
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      07-16-2007, 02:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
I have been disappointed with the recent trends in instrument layout, not just in BMWs, but in many other cars as well. I have two main issues with the trends:

1. There is a push toward displaying too much information all at once. As the cars are getting more instrumented via sensors, and hence becoming more intelligent, it is natural that the designers end up with a much broader range of information they can display to the driver. The mistake that is being made by many designers is not to layer that information and try to display most of it at the same time, which ends up in a cluttered instrument layout on the dash.

2. I HATE seeing stuff in between the speedometer and the rpm display. I really like my '04 325ci's layout for this reason: two large dials with nothing in between them. However, recently designers have been sticking fairly large size digital displays in between the two as if the information being displayed digitally at the very center is what the driver should be paying attention to the most while driving.

Which brings me to the following question: what do you think should be displayed on the instrument panel, and how much of it should be visible at the same time?

Here are some examples of current layouts (I like the Vantage layout the best):
The Vantage is the most annoying one of them all. Porsche has the best layout..!
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      07-16-2007, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
The Vantage is the most annoying one of them all. Porsche has the best layout..!
+1, only dials in white please............................
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      07-16-2007, 03:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
No need to be an ass. I am not saying things should not change. I am asking how people think things should change.
Ass?? I'm heart broken. Don't take it so hard...I was refering to your opinion on things...Again, responding your question...I like all of them, I like the way things are moving foward..I like that they give you options if you can afford them....Anyway, relax and have a beer...Just kidding Just in case....

Regards,
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      07-16-2007, 03:29 PM   #15
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599 GTB's

It has a large LCD on the left. Almost like a 5 inch LCD TV. I haven't had the opportunity to sit in one yet so I am not sure if it's distracting or not.
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      07-16-2007, 03:45 PM   #16
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I think having a LCD next to the gauges is much better than having a second hood on the dasboard. I know it's not as confy but it sure looks better than a second hood with i-Drive/Nav.
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      07-16-2007, 03:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROAD EAGLE View Post
Ass?? I'm heart broken. Don't take it so hard...I was refering to your opinion on things...Again, responding your question...I like all of them, I like the way things are moving foward..I like that they give you options if you can afford them....Anyway, relax and have a beer...Just kidding Just in case....

Regards,
Any my opinion is what: I don't like things to change? Whatever man. Sorry about your broken heart...Sounds like you need the beer more than I do.

Last edited by lucid; 07-16-2007 at 04:10 PM.
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      07-16-2007, 03:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 View Post
I think having a LCD next to the gauges is much better than having a second hood on the dasboard. I know it's not as confy but it sure looks better than a second hood with i-Drive/Nav.
Good point. I think 599 GTB's LCD on the instrument panel functions as a display for navigation as well. A bit too much for me, but it might prove a point that one does not need a huge LCD for navigation. I think the smaller screens embedded in the center console are the best place--without a hump that is. Pop-ups sound like a good idea as well if the need is purely for navigation. Here is one from the 612scaglietti, similar to the 599's.
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Last edited by lucid; 07-16-2007 at 04:19 PM.
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      07-16-2007, 04:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Any my opinion is what: I don't like things to change? Whatever man. Sorry about your broken heart...Sounds like you need the beer more than I do.
Alright man..look..I'm sorry, I didn't know you were so sensitive about this...I tought that the last email was going to make things better, guess not. Go on and focus more on your post. I will move on to better things...

See you around and I hope you keep enjoing your day...And I mean it..
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      07-16-2007, 04:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROAD EAGLE View Post
Go on and focus more on your post. I will move on to better things...
As if I asked for your advice on what to focus on...Please do move onto better things though. And, you have a great day, too!
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      07-16-2007, 05:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
As if I asked for your advice on what to focus on...Please do move onto better things though. And, you have a great day, too!
yezz what a kid you are..When I said go focus on your post is cause everybody else was giving YOU (the person who put the post in the first place) great replys on what the subject was ment to be and you still took it the wrong way...I apologized, and you still keep being sarcastic. It seems that you have you manners up your ass man!

You leave a bad feeling at the end of the day on what a great experience this was going to be checking out interesting post around here...it's just a post Lucid...don't take it so personal...oh! that's right..you don't like people giving you advice...how stupid I am..

Cheers
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      07-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #22
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All the same ish.
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