Volvo Car Corporation has released images of the Volvo S60 Concept, providing a glimpse of what the production version of the all-new Volvo S60 will look like when it arrives in 2010. The Volvo S60 Concept will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January, 2009.
"The all-new S60 will be one of the strongest players in a segment where the competition is razor-sharp," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.
The coupe-inspired lines that gave the original S60 its characteristic stance are even more pronounced in the next generation.
"The concept car's exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we've been even more daring - there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.
Scandinavian inspiration and drama
The front of the S60 Concept features an enlarged iron mark Volvo logo in the trapezoidal grille. The 3D VOLVO letters in the iron mark are embedded in an illuminated panel. The grille itself has been refined with structured horizontal vanes adding refinement to its form.
Two DNA lamps flank the grill, emphasizing the vertical stance of the front and promoting the hood's V-shape. The DNA lamps also become the starting point for the fresh sculptural design language of the bumpers. The angled headlamps flow up into the strongly sculptured hood. Combined with the lower air intake's reverse trapezoidal shape, this gives the concept car a very expressive ‘face'.
"Dynamic and with considerable character, but without appearing aggressive," says Mattin. "It is packed with inspiration from Scandinavian design and from the Swedish coastline's cliffs and seas. A thrilling blend of drama and sensuality."
Viking longboats in the headlamps
The concept car's headlamps unite classic Scandinavian influences with modern high-tech. The design of the headlamps, with two high performance LED bulbs side-by-side, was inspired by the imposing sight of Viking longboats. For example, the light reflectors are designed to mimic full sails. As well, the compact cooling system for the LED bulbs has protruding cooling blocks made out of aluminum, semi-visible under the ships' hulls. The design creates the illusion of shimmering glass panels that float.
Double wave and sensational doors
Viewed from the side, the concept car's slim coupe roofline and windows are accompanied by an entirely new lateral shoulder line, forming a gentle double wave. Stretching from the headlamps all the way to the tail, it plays visually with the surface and its highlights.
The unique parallelogram doors offer a show whenever they are opened and shut. Door opening is initiated by pressing a button and the movement starts in the traditional way. In the next phase, the forward section also swings out away from the car's body and the door glides parallel with the side of the car until it reaches its end position by the rear wheel.
Both the seven-spoke 20-inch wheels and the tread of the low-profile tyres have been specially designed for the S60 Concept. The bronze-painted brake callipers match the car's paintwork and accentuate the concept car's muscular, sporty looks.
Inspiration from the racing track
"In forthcoming models, you will see more and more of our ‘racetrack' design cues," says Mattin. "The car's lines do not end abruptly but instead forge a continuous flowing pattern inspired by the fast sweeps of the racing track. In the concept car, this is particularly visible at the rear."
The tail lamps, which follow the curve of the rear shoulders, are as advanced as the headlamps up front. When switched off, the lamp panels show no trace of the traditional red or yellow associated with rear lights. But when activated, the position marker lights, brake lights and turn indicators come on in their correct colours with LED bulbs.
The lighting system's solid glass panel is sectioned into horizontal ‘slices' that create the visual impression of a three-dimensional architectural drawing when the lights come on. At the rear there is also a retractable diffuser that adjusts with vehicle speed to improve aerodynamics.
Interior indicates future design direction
With the interior of the Volvo S60 Concept, Volvo Cars' design director Steve Mattin and his team are displaying a variety of future design ideas.
"You could say that we are showing the road we would like to take in the future. This interior is without doubt the most exclusive we have ever created," says Mattin.
When opening the parallelogram-shaped doors, they reveal an interior that creates a light, Scandinavian feeling that's full of visual harmony. In the middle of the four-seat car glitters the crown jewel: a floating centre stack crafted from handmade, solid Orrefors crystal crafted into a gentle, calm wave from the instrument panel to the rear seat backrest.
The driver's environment has been designed to provide ergonomic, convenient control. The driver can access logical instrument read-outs, simplistic dials and buttons and sophisticated technology that monitors the surrounding traffic, ready to alert the driver in the event of a collision. The combined instrument cluster resembles a bumble-bee, with a round speedometer as the ‘body' flanked by two digital ‘wings' providing all other information.
"The speedometer is designed as a three-dimensional glass spiral," explains Mattin. "The low numbers appear closest to the eye and the figures appear to be increasingly distant as you accelerate. The idea is that the speedometer should provide a visual reminder of the force of the forward motion."
Slim, floating leather seats
The floating theme continues in the concept car's slim, lightweight contoured seats and are made of soft Light Blond leather with contrasting stitching. The seats are attached to the centre console's lower section and inner sill, which means they don't touch the car's floor. Both the seat belt and the armrest are integrated into the seat itself. The backrest's pony-tail slot, featured in previous concept cars, has a new, slightly asymmetrical design.
"The aim is to create a pleasant living-room atmosphere with gentle, invisible transfers between the various surfaces," relates Mattin. "For instance, the dark, ecologically tanned saddle leather on the floor continues up on the lower part of the door."
The upper section of the doors is finished with genuine blond birch wood inspired by the colours of the Scandinavian coastline's salt- and sun-bleached wooden piers. Two parallel slits create a wave-shaped protrusion whose upper section forms a comfortable leather armrest.
New technology detects pedestrians in the danger zone
The S60 Concept also incorporates a ground-breaking safety innovation that, among other things, can detect a pedestrian who steps out into the path of the car and can react with full braking power if the driver does not respond to the warning.
The technology, called Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and pedestrian detection, will be introduced in the production version of the all-new Volvo S60.
"Up until now, we have focused on helping the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles," explains Thomas Broberg, safety expert at Volvo Cars. "Now we are taking a giant step forward with a system that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. New sensor technology also makes it possible to advance from fifty percent to full automatic braking power. To our knowledge, none of our competitors have made such progress in this area."
Avoids collisions at speeds below 20 km/h
The car's speed is of considerable significance to the outcome of a collision with a pedestrian. If speed drops from 50 km/h to 30 km/h, the chance of a pedestrian's survival dramatically increases.
"Our aim is that this new technology should help the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians at speeds below 20 km/h. If the car is being driven faster, the aim is to reduce the impact speed as much as possible. In most cases, we can reduce the collision force by about 75 percent," says Broberg.
This technology is also highly beneficial in the event of rear-end impacts with other vehicles. Studies indicate that half of all drivers who drive into another vehicle from behind do not brake prior to the collision. In such cases, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake can help entirely avoid a collision if the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 25 km/h.
Visual warning on heads-up display
In a situation where a collision seems likely, the driver first gets an audible warning together with a flashing light on the windscreen's heads-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction, the visual warning is designed to replicate a brake light in front of the Volvo vehicle. If the driver does not respond to the warning and the system assesses that a collision is imminent, the vehicle's brakes are applied with full braking power.
Upgraded Adaptive Cruise Control
Volvo Cars' Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has also been upgraded with a queue assist function. The current radar-based ACC is active above speeds of 30 km/h. The new system has been enhanced to bring the Volvo vehicle to a complete stop to maintain a set time gap to the vehicle in front to enhance driver comfort.
CO2-emissions at 119g/km
The engine that Volvo Cars has chosen for the Volvo S60 Concept is a 1.6-litre four cylinder unit using high-efficiency GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) technology to produce 180 horsepower. This engine, in combination with a range of other technical measures, makes it possible to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 119 g/km and deliver fuel economy of 5.0 l/100 km.
In a conventional petrol engine, fuel is injected into the inlet manifold ahead of the inlet valves. With direct injection, however, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure. GTDi technology, combined with turbocharging, makes it possible to reduce engine displacement but maintain performance and achieve approximately 20 percent better fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Volvo Cars' first production car with GTDi technology will be introduced during the second half of 2009.
Electric power steering, stratified combustion and other measures
In addition to GTDi technology, the Volvo S60 Concept integrates a number of technical advances to bring CO2 emissions down to 119 g/km.
The first is stratified combustion. The combustion chamber is designed such that a mist consisting of the optimal blend of air and fuel is formed around the spark plug, surrounded in turn by pure air. This allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus cutting fuel consumption.
The transmission includes a start/stop function to switch off the engine when the car is at a standstill and Powershift technology. With Powershift, two manual gearboxes work in parallel, each regulated by its own clutch. Since there is no interruption in torque delivery, gearchanges are nearly instantaneous, improving the engine's efficiency.
With Electric Power Assisted Steering, an electric motor linked directly to the steering system's gear rack has replaced the conventional hydraulic pump.
Through programming, the driver is given the option to switch the vehicle into DRIVe-Mode. Affecting the electrical and mechanical systems - including the air conditioner, cruise control and transmission - DRIVe-Mode reduces fuel consumption by engaging an "economy mode" that limits the systems' function.
For the exterior, a wind-deflecting panel in the grille can be closed to reduce air drag when there is less need for cool air, flat underbody panels improve air flow and the car's body is composed of lightweight materials.
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 42 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company's product range includes the stylish and sporty C30, the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the compact S40 sedan, the S60 sport sedan, the S80 flagship sedan and the versatile V50 and V70 wagon. For customers looking for a Volvo vehicle with all-road capability, the company offers the versatile XC70 and XC90. Volvo Canada is also expanding its line-up with the introduction of the new XC60, a crossover with the award-winning City Safety system on the standard equipment list.
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