High-performance hatches like the GTI and Golf R are a big part of Volkswagen's bread and butter, but they've never really been known as bastions of high technology. That might be changing today with the introduction of the Golf R Touch at CES, a concept that pushes the dashboard to the bleeding edge.
The fun focuses on three displays — 12.8-inch and 8-inch center displays, plus a 12.3-inch instrument cluster — that almost completely eliminate the standard tactile controls, a little bit like Tesla has done in the Model S. The center display also offers touch feedback, so the driver knows when they've actuated a command without necessarily needing to look at it. Both the appearances of the displays and the color of the interior lighting can be customized to the driver's liking — not unlike a smartphone, VW notes.
But here's the best part: cameras mounted inside the cabin allow you to trigger commands with hand gestures, so you never actually need to touch the displays at all. The company says that the system is "intended to reduce driver distractions while attaining maximum personalization and intuitive operation in the car," noting that a primitive version of it — proximity tracking — is already in production Volkswagens today.
In other words, it sounds like pretty much everything VW is showing on the Golf R Touch is going to make it to production eventually. Get ready for drivers behind and ahead of you to think you're waving at them.