Image credits: © Volvo.
2012 Volvo Concept You news, pictures, and information
Concept You from Volvo Car Corporation: Luxurious Scandinavian design with intuitive smart pad technologyThe Volvo Car Corporation now takes the next bold step in the evolution of the company's upcoming large luxury sedan. (concept carz)
The Concept You, revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, combines a sleek coupe-like exterior wîth a luxurious high-tech interior that keeps the driver in command via intuitive smart pad technology.
The Concept You picks up where the Concept Úniverse, revealed at Auto Shanghai earlier this year, left off. It gives the global car buying public another exciting glimpse of the Volvo Car Corporation's future.
With a full interior, Concept You allows luxury sedan customers to fully experience the craftsmanship and intuitive technology that will be the hallmark of future Volvos.
'The new Concept You roofline stretches all the way back to the tail lamps - creating that dynamic fastback look that is very much in vogue among European car buyers at the moment,' says Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at the Volvo Car Corporation.
Touch-control cockpit and pure craftsmanship
The luxurious interior of the Concept You features a blend of intuitive smart pad technology and first-class craftsmanship.
'The Concept You explores new territories in our search for the ultimate intuitive car that makes the owners manual a thing of the past. Smart phones and smart pads have brought mobile infotainment into a new era. Here, we use a number of touch-screens to replace buttons and controls in order to make the driver totally connected, totally in control. The technology also helps us to create a refreshingly uncluttered interior,' explains Peter Horbury.
The Concept You control centre consists of four main areas; a digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM), a head-up display on the windscreen, a touch-screen in the upper part of the centre console and a touch-screen between the two individual rear seats. The wood/leather §teering wheel has aluminium and glass paddles wîth integrated touch-screens.
The touch-screen in the upper part of the centre console remains in sleeping mode until the driver looks at it. A hidden infrared camera registers the eye movements and information is displayed on the screen.
Another sensor registers hand movements and triggers the Infotainment system's control mode. The possibilities vary depending on whether the screen is approached by the driver or by the front passenger.
'Certain functions, such as surfing the Web, are only accessible from the passenger side while the car is rolling. The technology knows who is the present operator and adapts itself automatically,' says Peter Horbury.
The driver can 'flip' data from the central touch-screen to the head-up display - and can exchange data wîth the rear passengers. A light guide in the free-floating centre console indicates file transfer.
Únique air-powered sound system
The Infotainment system also integrates a high-end sound system from Alpine. It features the unique 'FreshAir' subwoofer - a not yet released technology that uses the air outside the car to create the ultimate listening experience.
The sound system consists of small, optimised units that considerably cut weight - while still producing a better sound than today's systems.
Comfortable and cultivated
The interior is dedicated to offer design-driven customers a comfortable, cultivated, Scandinavian inspired environment that is also user-focused and refreshingly uncomplicated. Every detail has been chosen wîth the customer experience in focus.
The interior is driver-orientated at the front and comfortably relaxed in the rear. The dynamic feel and dark colour scheme in the front seats fades seamlessly towards the rear until it fully transforms into a light rear seat haven of calmness.
The rear seat passengers are embraced by pure comfort, as if their favourite lounge were magically integrated into the car. The interior moulds into the rear seat and becomes part of the seating environment.
The Volvo Car Corporation has partnered wîth several other famous brands in order to create a genuine feeling of luxury wîth the right Scandinavian touch.
Leather, suede and suit fabric
The four individual seats, inspired by ultra-comfortable chairs, blend chrome-free leather from Bridge of Wear wîth Dinamica ecological suede. The off-black front seats have suede in the centre to create optimal grip. The soft beige rear seats are designed for pure comfort wîth leather in the centre and suede on the sides.
The Concept You design also integrates the luxury qualities of a tailor made suit into the car. The back of the front seats and the door panels feature exclusive Italian fabric and designs from Swedish fashion house Oscar Jacobson.
The designers have also been generous wîth large, handcrafted pieces of walnut - accompanied by leather panels, Dinamica suede roof lining and carefully chosen aluminium details.
Hand-tufted wool carpets
'The interior is full of classic forms, materials and textures, used wîth a twist to create a special contemporary luxury experience. It is exceptionally refined, yet wîth all the simplistic assets that make Volvo champions of the uncomplicated,' explains Peter Horbury. He concludes:
'We are carving out a unique position among the luxury car makers wîth our special kind of Scandinavian Design. It will be unmatched in performance, technology and craftsmanship, but without superficiality or complication.'
Inspiration from Georg Jensen
The Concept You is finished in a light blue, liquid metal paint from DuPont. The ventilated disc brakes are developed by Volvo's racing specialists Polestar.
The car's fast silhouette is emphasised by the 21-inch polished aluminium wheels wîth a twisted twin-spoke design and tyres from Pirelli (275/30/21).
Úp front, the Concept You grille - which has a more classic appearance than the Concept Úniverse - features details wîth the same beautifully polished craftsmanship.
'The design of the wheels, the grille and details in the innovative headlamps have been inspired by the exquisite works of world-famous Danish design house Georg Jensen. Their precious items capture the essence of Scandinavian design. Úncluttered, organic surfaces and superb craftsmanship that radiate timeless luxury,' says Peter Horbury. He adds:
'This eternal beauty of Georg Jensen design is what we are aiming for wîth the whole concept car. Just like the finest luxury goods, this design should feel handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time.'
The dipped beam comes from LED lamps in four 'ice blocks' on top of the high beam lights. The 'ice blocks' are installed wîth the same technology that jewellers use for mounting precious stones.Source - Volvo
Volvo Car Corporation's technological future: New vehicle architecture and focus on four-cylinder enginesThe Volvo Car Corporation's technological future is based on two in-house developed strategies:
• A scalable vehicle architecture which in principle means that most Volvo models can be built on the same production line irrespective of vehicle size and complexity.
• A new engine range consisting solely of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
The innovation programme also includes a new Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) prototype.
'We're now taking our technological future into our own hands. Both our new architecture and the new engine range will enable us to be on par or even beat our toughest competitors in crucial areas such as driving dynamics and fuel efficiency,' says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation.
Own Scalable Product ArchitectureThe Volvo Car Corporation is promoting economies of scale within the company's own model range via a separate architecture for most of its products.
Within the new joint SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) there are several platforms, groups of cars that share the same basic chassis structure, seat frame, electrical system and driveline.
These platforms are the basis for different vehicle clusters, that is to say a number of complete car models. In today's model range, for instance, the Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 form one cluster.
It's all about developing a model range consisting of cars based on the same joint modules and interfaces, scalable systems and components, and built in a flexible production system.
'SPA gives us a fresh technological start. When the first SPA model is launched in a few years' time, about 90 percent of its components will be new and unique. What is more, we're raising the bar when it comes to quality and technology level in every area. We will be fully on a par wîth the very toughest competitors,' says Peter Mertens.
In addition to the industrial benefits of common vehicle architecture there are also significant product related advantages:
• Driving dynamics
• Design proportions
Weight reduction of
With SPA, the Volvo Car Corporation takes the lead in automotive lightweight design. The highest degree of high strength steel qualities in the to date is combined wîth the extensive use of aluminium in the front structure, doors, chassis and power train.
This means that upcoming SPA models will be 100-150 kg (2-330 lb) lighter than current models of the same size.
The new architecture enables electrification on all levels, from start/stop technology to pure electric drive, without intruding on interior space and load space.
New chassis technologies combined wîth lower weight and improved weight distribution will make it possible to compete wîth the very best when it comes to driving dynamics - without compromising ride comfort.
The electrical architecture enables all future multimedia and connectivity solutions - and it formes the backbone ot the Volvo Car Corporation's drive to reinforce its leading position in active safety.
New proportions promote exciting design
Overall packaging efficiency has been improved to support more attractive design proportions, while at the same time enabling significant improvements in aerodynamic drag.
Design limitations as regards wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height and the height of the front are changed. This creates greater freedom to give forthcoming Volvo models more exciting lines.
'The proportions can give entirely different appearances even though the components used are exactly the same. The comparison between a donkey and a thoroughbred racehorse is an excellent example: each has a head, a body and four legs. But they are perceived entirely differently because of the proportions of their individual body parts and between their body parts,' explains Peter Mertens. He adds:
'For us the new architecture means we can sharpen our design language still further, carving out just the right athletic and dynamic aura that is so important to the most demanding prestige car buyers. Concept You is an excellent example of this. It shows what can be achieved wîth the new architecture.'
Four-cylinder engines wîth the performance of today's sixes
The new engine range, known as VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture), consists solely of four-cylinder engines which in certain configurations will benefit from enhanced performance through electrification or other spearhead technology.
'It is time to stop counting cylinders. Focusing on four-cylinder engines is the perfect way to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption without compromising customer expectations on driving pleasure and performance,' comments Peter Mertens, and adds:
'We're aiming to develop four-cylinder engines wîth higher performance than today's six-cylinder units, along wîth lower fuel consumption than the current generation of four-cylinder engines.'
Reduction of parts, weight and fuel consumption
VEA is a modular range of diesel and petrol engines. Diesel common rail and petrol direct injection are standard. Several levels of turbo charging open up for flexibility that encompasses the whole range from high power and torque variants to fuel-efficient derivatives. In order to cover all customer requirements, certain engines will gain added performance via hybrid drive or other spearhead technology.
The modular format is based on a standard of 500cc per combustion chamber for optimum thermodynamics. It could also be used to develop three-cylinder engines.
VEA offers several advantages:
The new powertrains are up to 90 kg (198 lb) lighter than the present ones.
Fuel economy is improved by up to 35 percent.
Modularity and compact transverse design are also ideal for future electrification developments.
The engines will meet all known emissions legislation worldwide up to 2017.
'At present engine installation varies wîth each car model. With this holistic solution tomorrow's technology development can focus entirely on engine performance instead of diverting attention to installation modifications. What is more, assembly in the factory will be easier. The development costs are initially high but after that they drop sharply,' explains Peter Mertens.
With VEA, the Volvo Car Corporation also introduces a new 8-speed automatic gearbox, that gives the driver a refined drive and excellent fuel economy.
First out wîth road tests of flywheel technology
Later this autumn, for instance, the Volvo Car Corporation will become one of the first carmakers in the world to test the potential of flywheel drive on public roads.
Flywheel drive, also known as Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), is fitted to the car's rear axle, while the engine drives the front wheels. When the brakes are applied, the resulting braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs a minute.
Once the car starts moving again, the flywheel's rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission unit. With this arrangement the total power of the engine and KERS is applied to all four wheels.
The energy stored in the flywheel can then accelerate the car or be used to propel the vehicle once it reaches its cruising speed.
'This system offers the driver an additional 80 horsepower, giving a four-cylinder engine the acceleration of a six. What's more, it has potential for reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. Flywheel technology would be a suitable solution for our large cars such as the Concept You sedan,' says Peter Mertens.Source - Volvo
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