It would have been great to make use of the Geneva show to further our common understanding. In the interim I present...
A taxonomy of ashtrays
Two main genera: fixed types or removable (usually known as the Smoker´s Pack, a removable cup with a flip-up lid.)
There´s little to be said about these Smoker´s Packs as they are of scant engineering or aesthetic interest. The ones I´ve seen are made of metal cased in flame-proof plastic.
They also seem to be installed at the expense of a cupholder. Evil. Charmless.
Fixed genera are those which are not removed from the car. They are subdivided into those species with a moving lid or the species where the ashtray cradle itself moves (lidless).
The moving lid-types have 1) a lid moving in a plane (left-right or forward-back).
2) a lid rotating around an offset axis (simple flip-up lid on a hinge).
3) a lid moving through a curved path (moving over the tray or under the tray).
4) a lid rotating around a central, horizontal axis (cylindrical lid)
The moving lid design is best suited to large cars with substantial centre consoles. They are usually sited in front of the gear lever.
The moving ashtray concept is lidless. The tray itself moves into a new position relative to the surrounding fascia.
The moving ashtrays are in three types. 1) tray rotates about a central, vertical axis.
2) tray rotates about horizontal axis (hinge type).
3) moving parallel to a plane (drawer, moving from under the fascia).
The moving ashtray is a design found in smaller cars or American sedans with no centre console (with a column mounted autoshifter).
Another possible class is a pop-up type. This would involve the user pushing the lid or cover and the tray/lid assembly rising up from a fascia. Does this exist anywhere?
Ashtrays may be illuminated or not. Illumination is important when smoking and driving by night.
They may have a glass, plastic or metal liner. Glass and chromed-finishes are easier to clean and look more attractive.
The cigar lighter may be mounted separately, or located under the ashtray lid. Moving cradles make this a little harder to engineer due to the wiring and mechanical force required to actuate the lighter.