Volvo recently released details of its latest Concept car which gives a sneak preview of the upcoming S60 sedan coming in 2010. This concept actually emphasize the new design line Volvo implemented to achieve a more elegant image but a quick glance is enough to say it is inspired by the current Ford Mondeo. If you follow the side lines to the back end you end up with a shape almost exactly as the Mondeo, however as a concept car, designers were able to roam free and create something amazing, so while the front end is typical Volvo at the back there is a shape never seen in a Volvo before.
Of course you can tell this is a 4door-coupe-style sedan, curve of the roof line and short C column embolden its style, not sure if the production model features all this glamorous stuff, panoramic roof, mad doors and things like that, but I think this is a first all-round beautiful Volvo! Regarding it comes to production like this.
This concept is powered by 1.6-liters gasoline direct injection unit develops 180hp (134kW). Fuel utilization is measured at a remarkable 47mpg (5.0L/100km) and emissions are a matching low 119g/km. Power is delivered via a new 6speed Dual-Clutch transmission to front wheels.
In terms of interior, of course this being a concept and the fact it is a show case of exterior design for the upcoming S60, it is really conceptual! designers were trying to reach a new level of ergonomy and passenger safety by trying new techs and gizmos:
Volvo has tried to concentrate on ergonomics and passenger safety. With the joint instrument level with the navigation screen height, all it needs is a horizontal eye movement to go from one source of information to the other. Furthermore the controls employed when you start and stop driving are a just a few centimeters from each other beside the gear shifter. On top of the joined instrument, the driver gets info and warnings from different safety systems through the windscreen’s head-up monitor.
It is also packed with some new experimental advanced safety features Volvo is developing to retain its fame as the safest auto maker in the world :
Data from the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) of the vehicle is incorporated in the A-pillars. These safety features include the abovementioned Blind Spot warning system, together with a Collision Warning system with Full Auto Brake and pedestrian detection capabilities that employ radar instruments located behind the grill of the vehicle and a camera at the back of the rear-view mirror. It was also announced by Volvo that it has an ongoing partnership with Swedish glass manufacturer Orrefors to aid design the complex crystal center console for the show car. Orrefors was assigned with developing a crystal variant of Volvo’s distinctive center console floating stack. The crystal panel seems to float over the center console, but in fact, it rests gently on pads of rubber and unseen light sources can change the glow of the crystal to fit the mood of the driver. In spite of its creativity and inventiveness, the usability of utilizing such an instrument in a factory vehicle makes it mostly a design application, a trend that has never been lost on Volvo. Mattin said: “The full-size crystal piece in the concept car will not be a production feature. However, it does open up opportunities to use crystal on a smaller scale in the future. We’ll have to see how our customers respond.
This car can be an instant hit, it belongs to a very competitive segment of the market but it got the potential to be a serious player in every sense. So we just hope the production model will be as good looking, that way we might be able to see an exciting Volvo !