Flashback: central driver’s seats


Karl Smith looks back at the move by some designers to deploy a central driving position, an interesting trend that never really caught on beyond specific niches

It was the surprise hit of the 1980 Paris Motor show, a wedgy coupé with pyramidal glasshouse that had seemed, appropriately, like an automotive emissary from the future. It was the Citroën Karin, a late entry into the wedge wars of the 1970s. But what it lacked in punctuality, it made up for in its exotic form.

As the Karin doors opened for the assembled show attendees, the dramatic interior of the car was revealed. And there, in the centre, was the steering wheel, with a driver’s seat that sat slightly forward of two flanking passenger seats. Asked about the two seats, the designer, Trevor Fiore, joked that…

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