Skip to main content

Nissan channels Ed Gein, developing baby skin-like upholstery

Just in time for Halloween, Nissan has announced that its researchers are currently creating a semi-aniline leather that feels like human skin.

It appears that Nissan’s design department is drawing its inspiration from the ghost of serial killer Ed Gein. For those who are unfamiliar, Gein, the inspiration for Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), was well know for fashioning objects out of his victim’s skin.

After much testing and analysis, researchers at Nissan have determined which texture feels the most comfortable to drivers and passengers: baby skin. Luckily for consumers, Nissan has opted to go the synthetic route.

Nissan reached it conclusion by examining how humans touch different surfaces and what textures are most pleasant to the touch. Dubbed Premium-feel Interior Concept, Nissan’s design program determined three major outcomes: the closer a texture is to finger-pad softness, the better it feels; the closer the surface is to a human fingerprint, the better it feels and the wider the finger contact, the better it feels.

The result of this research could be the industry’s first skin-like texture. Nissan is presently testing semi-airline leather with a fingerprint-type texture. According to the automaker, “This is a new material for armrests, which are in constant contact with hands. With the softness of a finger pad and a surface texture similar to a fingerprint, it creates the soft, comfortable feeling of baby skin.”

Aside from armrests, Nissan plans to use it innovative semi-aniline leather on it seats and instrument panels as well. The material will transform traditional leather seating into much softer leather, which is akin to luxury leather-covered sofa. Furthermore, semi-aniline materials can also be used to make hard plastic surfaces like an instrument panel, softer to the touch.

In April, the automotive news and analysis site Ward’s Auto released its annual list of the 10 Best Interiors for 2012. Although its luxury division Infiniti cracked the top 10, no other Nissan made vehicle was included on Ward’s list.

Here is the entire list:

• Audi A7
• Chevrolet Sonic
• Chrysler 300 Luxury
• Dodge Dart
• Hyundai Accent
• Hyundai Azera
• Infiniti JX35
• Mazda CX-5
• Range Rover Evoque
• Volkswagen Beetle

What do you think about Nissan’s semi-aniline leather? Is baby skin-like texture creepy or comfortable?