FordFords genius tilting steering wheel doubles as mini desk



Ford revealed a new, revolutionary steering wheel design in its new E-Tourneo Custom.


The reveal of Ford’s new European van, the E-Tourneo Custom, brought with it a new take on interior design. Between the familiar traditional interior setting and the futuristic cockpit saloon designs, Ford managed to find a middle ground and deliver a new practical design that favors efficiency and ease of access.

The most striking feature is, of course, the tilting steering wheel. The traditionally static device can now be folded and turned into a practical multi-purpose table, making professional life a little easier.




geniusFords genius tilting steering wheel doubles as mini desk



For starters, the wheel’s shape is a bit unusual, Ford chose a squarish shape with rounded corners or as the company calls it, a "squircle". Magic happens when the wheels get tilted to a horizontal position, then a plastic cover can be applied on top of it, creating a suitable surface for a laptop, a small meal, or any other activity that requires a small horizontal surface.

The wheel is not the only unusual design feature on the E-Tourneo Custom; the driver and the front passenger can enjoy more free space between them thanks to the column-mounted gear selector. More seat accommodations include a very flexible seating arrangement that allows passengers to find the most comfortable position in every possible driving or working situation.

Ford has also played with some safety features, mainly the airbag disposition. The front passenger airbag is now placed on the roof, instead of the dashboard. The new setting opened more space in the glove box, allowing for larger items like a laptop or even an A4-sized folder. Putting this additional space right next to the instrument holder on the central counsel turned the E-Tourneo cabin into a proper moving office.




geniusFords genius tilting steering wheel doubles as mini desk



All these design novelties will certainly steer the jealousy of professionals and van operators in the US. So, the inevitable question is; will we ever see similar designs on future Ford models here at home?

The answer is not clear yet. Ford didn’t announce any upcoming models with similar interior design features, but if we take the F-150 Lightning, for example, we can see that its current design can accommodate such improvements without much modification.

In any case, the new steering wheel shows that Ford is exploring a development road that’s rarely taken by other carmakers. Most manufacturers always prefer smaller, slimmer, and less imposing steering wheels, ignoring the potential of this important car component. We should just sit and watch where Ford will take us next.

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