What's around the corner?
Concept cars have always attracted attention at the world's motor shows. From many manufacturers they tend to be pure design studies; futuristic but empty shells which look good on camera. The purpose of Volvo's concept cars, however, has always been to identify and try out new solutions for designs and technology which really work.
Volvo Cars is currently working with three different types of concept car:
The Volvo PCC2 - Performance Concept Car Two. This is a medium-sized estate, where the emphasis is on performance: 300 bhp of power and All Wheel Drive.
It has an all-new chassis design: FOUR-C (Volvo's Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept). FOUR-C monitors how the car
is being driven and automatically adjusts the dampers. 500 times per second the FOUR-C system also checks the position and status of each wheel, and, if it detects any wheel-spin, it corrects it with equal swiftness.
VOLVO SCC - SAFETY CONCEPT CAR
A concept car in which the emphasis is on design and safety, already the winner of a prestigious award from Autocar magazine in the UK.
This car has moved beyond passive safety design features into the area of active safety. Thus, the ability of the driver to remain fully aware of all that is happening around the car was a major consideration in developing the SCC.
When the driver gets into the Volvo SCC, a sensor detects where his eyes are and automatically adjusts the seat for the optimum line of vision. Then the floor, pedals, steering wheel, gear lever and instrument panel all move as required to bring them into the right positions for that particular
driver. Other examples of ways in which the SCC helps the driver both to see better and to notice more include see-through
A-pillars, and cameras which eliminate blind spots. The headlights are angled into bends as the steering wheel turns,
an infrared camera reveals hazards ahead, such as animals on the road while they are still beyond the range of the headlights, and a radar system warns of cars where the driver may not notice them.
The Volvo SCC also features a new type of safety belt; the X4 Criss Cross Belt.
It is a four-point safety belt which is just as comfortable to use as a three-point belt.
The car also has an external airbag located on the front of the car to protect pedestrians and cyclists.
VOLVO ACC2 - ADVENTURE CONCEPT CAR
The Volvo ACC2 is the first car in its class which combines extreme performance with comfort, flexibility, safety and the ability to get you through difficult terrain or condi-tions. The engine and chassis were derived from Volvo's Performance Concept Car. The Volvo ACC2 can cope with the toughest winter road conditions while still offering the control of a high-performance car, and it's a pleasure to drive in any conditions. The car is a 2+2 seater with racing-style seats, with influences from classic Scandinavian interior design.
The car's centre console is a docking station for accessories which simplify communication and navigation, including an innovation called the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). The PDA contains both a mobile phone and a GPS receiver. Bluetooth technology ensures that the system will work when the driver takes the PDA out of the car.