Clews, sails, waves and zigzag stitches are some of the marine details that inspired the Volvo Ocean Race Edition cars.
"I spent weeks looking at sails and at yachting materials after I received the assignment," says Maria Thunberg, Colour & Trim Designer at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.
Maria Thunberg points out that ocean yachting is a forerunner when it comes to new, high-tech materials. Not only for the hulls but equally so for the sails.
"Look here," she says and demonstrates, "this is where the sails is subjected to the most stress, so they are made extra strong, with double layers. Some layers are made of canvas, whereas others may be made of Kevlar or carbon fibre. And look at the zigzag stitches here."
Maria shows how the sail makers make their own "signature" in zigzag stitches at the clew (the aft triangular corner where the sail is attached to the sheet).
"That's what inspired me to have zigzag stitching as a theme in the interiors of the Volvo Ocean Race Edition cars," she says and points it out in the stitching of the full leather upholstery, the floor mats and the load cover design. In combination with the textile piping, it gives a distinct marine impression.
New techniques make for a new design language. The sails now have small windows so you can see what the telltails say about the wind. And the layered sails give them a different colour, light grey rather than white.
The layered and strengthened sails in their various materials inspired the layered seat pockets on the backrest of the seats, where the outer pocket is of leather and the inner pocket is made of a canvas-like material.
Maria is not a sailor. She is more of a turf person, who after a track & field career put her javelin on the shelf together with her volleyball and swapped them for a set of golf clubs. As a matter of fact, she has never been on board a Volvo Open 70 yacht. Yet. But when she got the assignment to create the sailing-inspired Volvo Ocean Race Edition she immersed herself in the yachting world, on the Net, in magazines and with good help from sailing friends.
"I was looking for performance and one of my sources of inspiration is the Australian Wally yachts and the way they use black and white aluminium."
The Volvo Ocean Race Edition cars have décor in brushed aluminium, the floor mats have aluminium details just like clews on sails, the centre stack has a matt aluminium finish and the cassette for the load cover is in unpainted aluminium. When you roll out the actual load cover, you will find a discreet Volvo Ocean Race emblem in the material, printed in a low-contrast colour.
"It's all about an active lifestyle, about adventure and passion. We know our Edition customers do not mind people looking at their cars, so we gave the exterior some special details to look at."
There are two colours to choose between: Electric Silver or the vibrant Ocean Blue, a colour exclusive to the Volvo Ocean Race Edition. The alloy wheels have a wave pattern and really look special; for the Electric Silver, it is in light grey with a diamond cut, while the Ocean Blue has wheels in Silver Bright.
The Volvo Ocean Race Edition model year 2009 comes in three models: the Volvo V70, Volvo XC70 and Volvo XC90.
Two colours: Ocean Blue and Electric Silver
Two interior colours: Soft Beige and Offblack
Volvo Ocean Race 2008
The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's most gruelling ocean adventure. An extreme race that consists of 10 legs. The vessels start off on October 4 from Alicante in Spain. The finishing line is in St Petersburg, Russia, on June 27, 2009 after stops in Cape Town (South Africa), Cochin (India), Singapore, Qingdao (China), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Boston (USA), Galway (Ireland), Göteborg (Sweden) and Stockholm (Sweden). The 2008-09 event also includes inshore races in most of the ports.
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