For immediate release
GÖTEBORG (December 15, 2006) – Call the Volvo XC60 Concept a snapshot of the future.
The XC60 Concept not only offers the world a sneak preview of the next XC model to come from the Volvo Car Corporation, it is also full of design innovations that reveal the direction the company is heading for its future vehicles.
Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin and his team have designed the XC60 Concept while keeping their eyes firmly focused on one clear goal. “In recent years we have successfully emphasized the Scandinavian characteristics that base prestige on timeless, functional elegance,” he says. “Now we’re elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally pumping up our cars’ visual volume. With more expressive, emotive shapes, it will be a magnet for the viewer’s eyes. If you say that you recognise a Volvo from 50 metres today, I want to get to the point where you will instantly spot it from twice that distance in the future.”
To Mattin and his team, the XC60 Concept is a daring, emotionally charged creation. The concept car, resplendent in a dashing Tin Bronze livery, has been spiced up with the best elements from two dynamic body styles. “Down below, unmistakable and capable XC muscles pump up the car, giving it a purposeful stance with a high ground clearance on large wheels,” Mattin says. “Above the waistline, the dashing lines trace the profile and sporty charisma of an elegant, sexy coupe.”
Enlarged iron mark in the grille
The classic iron mark logo was reintroduced on the grilles of Volvo vehicles almost two years ago. In the XC60 Concept, it has been enlarged to make the brand image even stronger. Embedded in the trapezoidal grille, the large iron mark provides a distinctive signal. The new angled headlights are also part of the design DNA for the next generation Volvo vehicles. Together with the headlamps and the sweeping wheel wells, they radiate an aggressive stance that also emphasizes the hood’s classic V-shape.
Mattin says the sculpted, emotive shapes are an important part the company’s design direction for the future. In the XC60 Concept, they become particularly pronounced when the vehicle is viewed from the side.
With 20-inch wheels, accentuated wheel housings and aluminium scuff-plates, the muscular XC feel is emphasised in the lower half of the car, while the windows’ sleek profile and the dramatic roof line give the upper half a sporty coupe appearance.
New tailgate design
“At the rear, the expressive, sculptured shapes provide additional hints on the direction our design DNA is set to take,” Mattin says. “The contours of the tall tail lamps highlight the muscular shoulders and the tailgate’s trapezoidal shape is a further development of the glass tailgate from the Volvo C30.”
The tailgate design features another innovation: a multi-functional tailgate. Split into two parts, the lower section can move out, up and over the stationary upper section. This creates an opening for smaller items. The upper section can be opened separately as well, as can both pieces together.
Another exciting innovation is found with the dark panel in the lower section of the tailgate. Viewed from inside, it becomes transparent to improve the driver’s ability to see the area behind the car.
The roof is also transparent, with dark-tinted glass attached on top of a Y-shaped bearing structure.
At the rear, the Volvo name on the tailgate features more pronounced lettering with wider spacing than before. This too is a new feature that will be echoed throughout the model range to boost the brand’s distinctive visual presence.
Elegant, high-tech interior
The XC60 Concept has an interior design that fully complements the striking exterior. In particular, the instrument panel, floating centre stack and the slim front and rear seats create a sense of space and comfort.
The interior is dominated by the elegant combination of saddle leather and aluminium. The upper dash bears a typically Scandinavian light colouring while the lower section has a contrasting dark, espresso brown shade.
Mattin’s design team gave a lot of thought to lighting inside the cabin. The aim was to create both functional areas of light and a pleasant ambience to emphasize the modern atmosphere inside the XC60 Concept.
Instrument pod with wings
The driver’s main instrument panel was designed to resemble the shape of a bumble-bee, with a round analogue speedometer as the “body” that is flanked by two digital “wings” featuring display screens for other vehicle information.
The instrument panel and the new steering wheel harmonize with the iconic floating centre stack, which has been angled towards the driver. It is even slimmer than the ones found in today’s production Volvo vehicles, freeing up additional storage space behind the console.
“The white iPod-inspired surface is almost like a smooth wall of snow, surrounded by a metal frame that emphasises the asymmetrical shape,” says Mattin. “Buttons and controls are entirely integrated into the surface and the ‘invisible’ screen for information and navigation appears only when it is switched on, starting up with a spectacular pulsating sequence. The screen image is back-projected, which makes the centre stack one of the innovative highlights of the interior.”
The four rotary controls seem to come alive during the start-up sequence and all the other buttons found in the centre stack are touch-sensitive.
The unique gear selector has been styled after sliding levels found on the mixing tables of light and sound technicians.
Volvo Cars is world-renowned for creating comfortable and ergonomically designed seats. In the XC60 Concept, those seats take a step forward with slim, asymmetrical lines that provide added comfort, particularly when climbing in and out of the car. The light-coloured seats have integrated seat belts while the head restraints and backrests, in both the front and rear seats, feature a pony-tail slot. This feature was introduced in 2004 with the Volvo Your Concept Car (YCC), but in the XC60 Concept, the slot has been extended down the back to provide enhanced ventilation and improved rearward vision and feature integrated ambient lighting.
“By turning the head, the driver can see all the way through his or her own seat, through the rear seat’s backrest and through the transparent panel at the lower corner of the tailgate,” Mattin explained. “This promotes added safety in a vehicle whose height may otherwise limit rearward vision.”
In the cargo area, a variety of attachment points yield numerous possibilities for securing different types of loads. There is even storage space for a custom-made XC60 Concept luggage set under the rear seats, conveniently accessible via the rear doors.
A promise of things to come
“The XC60 features a number of innovations that indicate how our cars will look in a few years time,” Mattin says. “It is time to once and for all forget all about boxy Volvos. Instead, we will make our Scandinavian design heritage more emotional and radiant by adding sculptured, exciting shapes and new, innovative features.”
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 44 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sport sedan, the compact and sporty S40 and V50, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2007, the company is introducing two new models: the second-generation S80 luxury flagship sedan and the stylish and sporty C30.
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