Scandinavian Luxury: Design for the New Millennium
To enter the all-new Volvo S80 is to be immersed in the true meaning of 'Scandinavian Luxury.' So what is Scandia Luxury, anyway?
The main principle behind Scandinavian design is functionalism, taking the functional element into just as much consideration as the design element.
Scandinavian design represents an airy "symbolic openness" influenced by the landscape of the region. And, the design theme doesn't scream for attention, rather simple, organic forms without excess.
Luxury hailing from the region is the opposite of traditional luxury. Rather than encouraging elitism based on cost and exclusivity, ‘Scandinavian luxury’ is a new, more human value derived from the combination of aesthetics and technology in a way that is inviting, intelligent and accessible.
Interior Characterized By Scandinavian Design Influence
The interior of the all new Volvo S80 reflects the elegant and luxurious exterior. Characterized by clean surfaces, congruous lines, exciting contrasts and smooth function, the new S80 is an expression of Scandinavian design tradition, creating a dynamic and harmonious interior.
“Just look at the upper part of the instrument panel,” says Steve Mattin. “To me it looks like an untouched snow-covered meadow. And that’s exactly what Scandinavian design is all about – inspiration from our natural surroundings.”
As with the exterior, the sweeping contours are really two parallel lines that create a pronounced edge or profile. The same design language is found again in the door panels. Another consistent theme inside the car is the rectangular shape with rounded corners that characterizes free-standing functions such as the ignition lock and air vents.
And, as always in a Volvo, every detail has been meticulously designed in form and function and is optimally positioned to provide an ergonomic and comfortable driver’s environment - an important prerequisite for safe, relaxed motoring.
Consistent with an awareness of the human throughout design, Ergonomics has long been a focal point for Volvo engineers. Volvo seats are regarded by many as the best on the market. Designed to offer the best possible support and comfort even on long trips, the available power seats can now be specified with perforated and ventilated leather upholstery.
The ventilated front seats are equipped with fans in the seat cushion and backrest. The temperature of the seats is quickly adjusted to a pleasant level, contributing to high seating comfort, particularly on hot days and in damp climates.
The opposite function – heating, is available in the front – can be adjusted to any one of three temperature settings.
Form, Function, and Centerpiece
Volvo’s modern super-slim center console, which was first introduced in the smaller Volvo S40 and V50 models, is one the most visual attributes proving a high-level of Volvo craftsmanship. In the new S80, this intuitive center console has been tailored to suit the more classic and exclusive interior design.
The console has also been extended, stretching to the rear seat and hosting a number of smart functions for storage and connectivity to accessories, such as an iPod or electric cooling box.
The passenger compartment is also noticeable quieter, thanks to a thick hardened side glass which contributes to excellent sound damping.
World-class Audio System
Filling the cabin with the richness of sound, the all-new Volvo S80 can be equipped with one of the best audio systems in the world - Volvo Premium Sound. A digital amplifier from Alpine with Bang & Olufsen PowerHouse ICEPower® technology, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and loudspeakers from Dynaudio® of Denmark create an audio experience of the acoustically purest form. Volvo Premium Sound is described in greater detail in a separate press release.
Fulfilling the utility function of the Scandinavian form, the car’s information system opens up a wide range of scope to tailor the car’s comfort features to his or her own needs and tastes. The menu offers control of features such as the seats, rear-view mirrors, climate unit, audio system, navigation and, to a certain extent, the car’s driving properties.
A new choice to the menu is automatic start of the rear defroster. When this function is pre-selected, the defroster is activated whenever the temperature is less than 48º F. Rounding out the information system selections is the speed-dependent power steering. This option can be set to any of three different power assistance levels.
‘Scandinavian luxury’ will appeal to individuals who value intelligent functionality and personal responsibility as well as aesthetics and prestige.
In the all-new Volvo S80, ‘Scandinavian luxury’ marries the aesthetic appeal of the next generation of the Volvo design language with highly evolved technologies selected for the benefit or enjoyment they provide the owner, including world-class safety and concern for the environment. Every aspect of the S80 has a benefit to the owner. There is no technology for technology’s sake.
“It’s not about technical gadgetry and price,” adds Silvia Güllsdorf, S80 Project Director. “Instead, we approached the new S80 as a complete entity where highly advanced yet easy-to-use technical solutions provided occupants a comfortable, dynamic and safe driving experience.”
Today, Volvo designers look outward towards the global, while at the same time drawing strength and inspiration from their local roots.