Volvo ECC – the car that gave the world a preview of Volvo’s future already back in 1992
- Study of a safe, environmentally optimised and comfortable family car in the 21st century
- Inspiration behind the design of the Volvo S80
- Lightweight materials with low environmental impact and high recycling rating
The Volvo ECC (Environmental Concept Car) was unveiled in 1992 as a study of what a safe, environmentally optimised and comfortable family might look like in the year 2000. The ECC attracted immense attention the world over and was a major source of inspiration for the design of the Volvo S80, which was introduced in 1998. The Volvo ECC, which was developed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre (VMCC) in California, had a number of features that demonstrated that spacious family cars also have a place in tomorrow’s transport-oriented society.The Volvo ECC had features such as:
- A hybrid power system featuring a series-connected gas turbine and electric motor.
- Materials selected on the basis of their low environmental impact during production, along with a high degree of recyclability.
- The efficient powertrain and aluminium body contributed to the low gross weight of 1,580 kg.
- An ergonomically designed interior.
- Exceptional interior space for four adults along with immense collision safety.
- Dynaguide, a system that gave the driver up-to-date traffic information via a display in the instrument panel.
A preview of Volvo’s new design language
One might say that the Volvo ECC offered the world a preview of Volvo’s new design language, which made its debut with the launch of the Volvo S80.
The ECC had all the design cues that have since become highly recognisable elements in the modernisation of Volvo’s design process – a combination of traditional and new lines.
For instance, the ECC has the broad haunches and the V-shaped bonnet that echo the company’s earlier design history, along with the modern ‘soft nose’ structure where the bumpers are an integrated part of the gently rounded front section.
The Volvo ECC also boasted an extremely efficient aerodynamic shape, with a CD rating as low as just 0.23.
High safety level
The Volvo ECC also built further on the safety concept that was presented in 1991 in the Volvo 850. This applied both to the body structure and to the innovative SIPS side-impact protection system with its side airbags.
The Volvo ECC naturally had three-point safety belts in all five seats, along with space for an integrated child seat cushion in the rear middle seat.