Volvo Cars has become the first premium car maker to purchase the world’s most advanced Vi-Grade chassis simulator – the same equipment used by Ferrari and Porsche – to develop next generation Volvos.
The simulator offers exciting virtual environments including Germany’s renowned Nürburgring as well as test tracks at Volvo Cars’ own secret testing facility in Sweden. It allows Volvo Cars to conduct extremely early stage development work on high speed stability, balance and individual drive mode settings, leading to the development of cars that are more responsive, more rewarding and even more enjoyable to drive.
“We are making substantial investments in people, technology and facilities in order to redefine the Volvo driving experience. Our aim is to deliver full control, ease and dexterity at the wheel. We will improve drivability across the entire Volvo Cars range,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
The Swedish car maker uses the simulator’s virtual environments to support early development work on high speed stability, balance and individual drive mode settings. The use of simulation means that settings can be rapidly tested combining the experiential judgment of a real driver and computer-aided objective data analysis.
The move heralds a new beginning for Volvo Cars in terms of driving experience, claims Dr Mertens. “We have made some critical investments both in terms of our R&D facilities and in our product components in recent times that are now beginning to pay dividends. Our completely new scalable product architecture (SPA), our modular powertrain program and the latest chassis components are the starting point.”
Freedom to innovate
The new simulator means more freedom to innovate in the concept development phase and shorter development time, according to Dr Mertens, enabling a more emotionally resonant driving experience.
“The beauty of the new simulator is that it provides us with the opportunity to physically experience the calculation models and evaluate them using human test drivers, rather than staring at graphs and numbers in a meeting room,” says Stefan Karlsson, Manager Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Car Group. “This is further testament to our commitment to human centric development and a cornerstone of developing a driving experience that is truly Designed Around You.”
Note to Editors:
For more information on VI-Grade click here.
Volvo Car Group in 2014
For the 2014 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 2,252 MSEK (1,919 MSEK in 2013). Revenue over the period amounted to 129,959 MSEK (122,245 MSEK). For the full year 2014, global sales reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9 per cent versus 2013. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 465,866 in 2014 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2014, Volvo Cars had over 26,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).