Volvo Car Corporation unveils Versatility Concept Car (VCC) at 2003 Geneva Auto Show
Geneva, Switzerland (March 4, 2003) - A hint of the future of Volvo car design was unveiled today amid a flurry of photographers' flashbulbs at the 73rd Geneva International Motor Show. The Volvo Versatility Concept Car (VCC) takes the wagon concept to new levels of performance, technology and luxury.
Volvo Car Corporation unveiled what the company calls their expression of automotive 'haute couture', the Versatility Concept Car (VCC), at the Geneva Motor Show. A collaboration between two Volvo design studio, Barcelona and Göteborg, the exterior design of the Versatility Concept Car (VCC) is both dramatic and simple at the same time.
A number of characteristic elements are in line with Volvo's current design language including broad shoulders (nicknamed "catwalk" on the VCC - the shoulders are even more accentuated here than on the Volvo V70 and S80) and the characteristic V-shaped hood. Inspiration also came from Volvo's rich design heritage: the distinctive rear design with a glass tailgate, also featured in the Safety Concept Car, traces its roots to the 1971 Volvo P1800 ES. The large, distinguished grille is descended from the 1968 Volvo 164. "The Volvo 164's grille forges a direct link to Volvo luxury, but a strong grille design is also an important display of brand heritage," explains José Diaz de la Vega.
Among the most noticeable features in the front are the slim, vertically stacked headlights. The inner of the two lamps uses a system known as "Static Bending Light" with three light units aimed at different angles. The topmost points straight ahead and performs as a conventional dipped beam. As the car turns to one side or the other, sensors linked to the steering activate units two and finally three to illuminate the direction in which the car is turning. This system dramatically increases visibility when driving on twisting roads. The outer headlight contains main beam and side marker lamps.
The 20-inch wheels have puncture-safe "Run Flat" 245/40/20 tires from Pirelli.
The VCC design is also characterized by the absence of a B-pillar, made possible by hinging the back doors at the rear instead of the front. This characteristic of the design promotes the display of the remarkable interior, but is not intended for production cars.
The interior of the VCC is an expression of Scandinavian luxury: a sense of comfort and well-being is created through high-quality materials and a light, airy sensory experience. The instrument panel is an expression of elegant simplicity. It is an evolution of Volvo Cars' current product programs, in particular the XC90 instrument panel. The surface finish and colours are in harmony with the other elements of the interior. "Our aim is to create an atmosphere of total tranquility for our customers", says José Diaz de la Vega.
The Volvo Ambient Air Distribution System has no visible conventional air vents. Instead, air is distributed via concealed outlets. This prevents unwanted reflections in the windshield and provides silent and more uniform air distribution.
The luxuriously designed seating arrangement is beautifully crafted using the traditions of the saddle-maker. Thick saddle-quality Havana hide, complimented with Tempur-foam pads (a Swedish invention) for comfort. The front seats are mounted on rails integrated into the outer sill panel and centre tunnel console. This provides a flat and unobstructed floor for the rear passengers. Safety belts are fully integrated into the seat frames, enabling the creation of a design without any B-pillars. The rear seats they slide individually, powered by electric motors to provide optimum flexibility between luggage capacity and legroom. The headrests fold to improve visibility, and concealed beneath the armrest is an optional pop-up integrated child seat for children age three and under.
The application of colours and high-grade materials together with minute attention to detail, ensure the luggage compartment has the same sensory impact as the cabin without sacrificing practicality. For example, tumble-mill soft leather is selected for the floor. Features include a load floor that is electrically operated via controls mounted on the D-pillar. The floor slides out from the luggage compartment to make the loading procedure more convenient. Beneath the load floor are two storage compartments, one heated and one chilled. The luggage compartment also features an integrated safe in the right-hand side panel, while the left side contains a lift-out overnight case, trimmed in matching leather. The hi-gloss leather luggage cover is electrically powered and can be operated by from the driver's seat and also from the switch in the D-pillar.
The X-framed solar panel in the roof is semi-transparent and enhances the feeling of spaciousness as well as providing power for the Volvo Ambient Air Cleaner (VAAC) system that continually cleans the air within the car even when the engine is not running.
- The fixed-centre steering wheel allows more controls to be positioned on the wheel, including buttons for the Automated Shifted Manual gearbox. The ergonomic benefits are that the switches and controls are always in the same position and allows the airbag to be designed for optimum performance.
- The use of high-strength steel in the construction of the A-pillars allowing for a slimmer design for significantly improved visibility - without sacrificing safety.
- The centre console, manufactured in anodized aluminum, does not meet the dashboard. A two-centimetre gap divides the slim centre console from the dashboard, creating a feeling of lightness and space. The centre console carries two touch-sensitive slider controls that regulate temperature (indicated with LED lights that change colour from cool blue to red-hot)
- The illuminated door panels contain large leather-lined foldout storage compartments. The door inserts are trimmed in the same saddle quality leather as is used on the seats and instrument panel upper
- Brushed anodized aluminum grab handles with contrasting polished edges to compliment the centre console. Aluminum is used decoratively both on the exterior and interior in a number of ways, for example, it is anodized, brushed, sandblasted and polished.
- As a continuation of the saddle-leather theme used on the rest of the upholstery, the same type of material is applied to cover the floor and genuine Nubuck leather strand rugs woven expertly by our Swedish craftsmen.
The exterior and interior colour schemes have been developed to harmonize perfectly, the Volvo expression of automotive "haute couture".