Summit Point Raceway, WV —The first question you ask when you climb into the Buick Bengal is: "Umm, where are the gauges?"
Like its cousins, the GMC Terracross and Cadillac Vizon, the Bengal has no visible instrument cluster. To find out what's happening under the Bengal's hood, you glance at the head-up display (HUD) projected onto the car's windshield. Likewise, the Terracross' digital screen and the Vizon's analog dials flip in-side the dashboard as soon as the engine stops.
GM's latest round of concept cars hit the test track in May, with a mix of 21st century hideaway gauges, '90s-era SUV-inspired bodies, and '50s interior styling. Although they're still a half-decade from the showroom floor, these six vehicles reveal some cutting-edge technology.
The Vizon, for example, has no rear-view mirrors. What use are mirrors when backward-pointing cameras project the road behind you onto a retractable dashboard monitor? And the Bengal has no bank of manual controls for the dashboard functions. It relies on voice-operated commands, and a single, mouse-like button on the steering wheel.
Other highlights include the 360° night vision radar in the Hummer H2 SUT (sport utility truck), the Chevy Borrego push-button ignition, and the Pontiac Rev's analog dials.
And both the Rev and the Terracross lack a central B-pillar, so each offers a gaping side entrance when all four doors are open.
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