Volvo Car Group will be using Geneva Auto Show for revealing the third in a series of concept vehicles, the Volvo Concept Estate, which continues the widely admired exterior design language unveiled in first two concept models; however for the first time unveils how the interior of upcoming vehicles will both function and look. The most stunning interior design feature of Concept Estate is its simplicity. The conventional selection of controls and buttons have been replaced by one large tablet PC-like touchscreen display control panel in the centre console, bringing the interior firmly into 21st century. Mr. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design, Volvo Car Group said the basic idea is to organize information and controls in a perfectly user-friendly and intuitive way. Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, making the drive more safe, efficient and enjoyable.
In cooperation with the automaker’s specially designed software, the touchscreen display will be the main control panel for in-car user experience. It replaces all knobs, controls and buttons except for few crucial functions like window heaters, hazard warning, play-pause and volume. It also interacts flawlessly with digital instrument cluster in front. Mr. Robin Page, Design Director Interior at Volvo Car Group said not having to deal with controls and buttons for an increasing number of functionalities is like being freed from a pair of handcuffs. This has made it possible to design a beautiful interior architecture around portrait screen. The all-new Volvo Concept Estate showcases how this user interface will be incorporated in upcoming models.
Volvo is an organization, which redefined the Estate vehicle by fusing practicality, sturdiness and functionality with performance. The XC70 and V70 are amongst the most respected Station Wagons in the market and the all-new Volvo Concept Estate points to how the automaker could capitalize on this heritage in its upcoming vehicles. The company has been on a winning streak with its concept vehicles. The Concept Coupe was named Car of the Show by the leading German Auto Magazine at Frankfurt Auto Show, whereas the Concept XC Coupe received luxurious Eyes ON Design award at Detroit Auto Show. Global attention on concept vehicles of Volvo has been intensifying as they offer the first significant clues as to how the subsequent vehicles and much-anticipated and all-new XC90 sports utility vehicle will look. The XC90 is due to be introduced later in 2013.
Learning from history
Mr. Thomas said the rear of Concept Estate echoes the design of Volvo 1800 ES from early 1970s. The 18th Century models are iconic Volvos, renowned for their beautiful detailing and forms. Nonetheless, using elements from their interior and exterior has nothing to do with being retro. We are using these subtle links to glorious past for creating a future in which sheer beauty becomes recognized part of the automaker’s identity. The subtle inspiration from classic models is also evident on several details inside Concept Estate, including the instrument panel, dials and 2-spoke steering wheel.
Mr. Page explains the initial 40 years of Volvo history was characterized by high quality materials and classic craftsmanship. We are merging this vital part of our brand DNA with more recent focus on smart functionality and technology. In Volvo Concept Estate we also add the creative side of Scandinavia. The result is an exotic interior with beautiful detailing and genuine materials.
Beautiful and Different
Applying this approach to iconic estate car that’s the essence of versatile Volvo functionality – creates a car which is both different and beautiful. The generous dash to low bonnet, axle ratio, glass roof and sleek silhouette all contribute to the dynamic impression, yet capable 3-door sports wagon. The contrast between the 21-inch bright 5-spoke wheels and the deep, dark brown pear color contributes to the modern, cool aura.
Just like the Concept XC Coupé and Concept Coupé, the face of Volvo Concept Estate is distinguished by new topography on floating grille and bonnet, flanked by headlamps equipped with T-shaped DRL light guides. The taillight signature is another unique element in Volvo Cars’ new design direction.
Swedish Inside And Out
Thomas explains colorful and extrovert trends within modern Swedish design and lifestyle have been powerful sources of inspiration for design team. Passengers in all 4 seats are embraced by orange seat belts, whereas the unique, woven wool carpets from Kasthall, Swedish designer have the same deep accent color. The crystal gear leaver from Orrefors/Kosta Boda also has an orange glow, whereas the chequered white and black wool textile on rear sides and headliner of front seats adds playfulness to the cabin. Creativity is thriving in Swedish society. This includes technology and design, in addition to fashion, art scene and music. We have used all this as inspiration to create a new, exciting way to express Sweden’s soul.
The feel of a Scandinavian living room
Handcrafted, refined details including instrument panel covered by naturally tanned, thick saddle leather from Tärnsjö and inlays made of waxed, naturally aged wood and machined copper details also highlight the exclusive Swedish atmosphere inside Concept Estate. The interior is exceptionally vivid yet the seats and glass roof covered by light, soft Bridge of Wear leather help to retain that bright and cozy feeling which is the hallmark of Swedish living room. A place that makes you feel so comfortable that you are reluctant to leave, says Robin Page.
Specially designed Swedish ‘kubb’ game
The ambiance might inspire occupants to stop for a picnic and game of Swedish “kubb”. The specially designed game set is visible through the load floor in the back. “Don’t know the rules? No problem. They are printed on the transparent floor. And rain is no excuse. You will find exclusive Stutterheim raincoats in the back of the car as well,” explains Robin Page.
Volvo’s Partner Suppliers in the creation of Concept XC Coupé, Concept Estate and Concept Coupé:
- Wheels: Uniwheels
- Tires: Pirelli
- Exterior paint: Axalta Coating Systems
- Leather: Bridge of Weir
- Gear shift: Kongsberg
- Carpet: Kasthall
- Exterior light: Valeo
- Gear shift glass: Orrefors
- Interior ambient light: 3M
- Belts: Autoliv