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The interior of GM's 1990 CERV III concept car is the future we deserved

The interior of GM's 1990 CERV III concept car is the future we deserved

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I went down a Wikipedia hole looking up Corvettes recently. I can't remember how exactly I got there (does anyone ever remember how they ended up down a Wikipedia hole?), but it did give me occasion to remember GM's Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicles (CERVs) — a series of concept cars mostly based on Vettes that spanned over three decades from 1959 to 1993.

Above is a complication of b-roll footage of the CERV III, which debuted in 1990 as a bleeding-edge engineering exercise: it had a chassis made of carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum; four-wheel steering; an active suspension system capable of hopping over bumps in the road; electronically controlled all-wheel drive; and a twin-turbo V-8 pushing 650 horsepower. (650 sounds almost mundane in 2016, but it was nearly science fiction in 1990.)

A navigation system, rare for 1990

As cool as the exterior and powertrain of the CERV III are, though, the interior is nuts. It had an integrated nav system, for instance. In 1990! (Skip to 2:38 in the video to see it in action.) The vehicle had two center-mounted graphical displays, two decades before that kind of technology became commonplace. And then there was the insane center console, which has 21 rocker switches by my count, plus a four-way d-pad. I don't have the foggiest clue what you could need 21 switches for, but I do know that we're living in a world where we don't generally get that many, and that's a shame.

So go on, take in the sweet, button-filled alternate automotive reality we could've gotten, had GM engineers had their way.