The Volvo S60 Concept gives the car world a glimpse of what the all-new Volvo S60 is going to look like when it arrives in 2010.
"The all-new S60 will be one of the strongest players in a segment where the competition is razor-sharp," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.
The coupe-inspired lines that gave the original S60 its characteristic stance are even more pronounced in the next generation.
"The sporty design gives visual promise of an enthusiastic drive and I can assure you here and now that the all-new S60 will live up to that promise. The driving properties are better than in any previous Volvo. The car's technology will also help you to be a better and safer driver," says Stephen Odell.
The concept car reveals that the Volvo Cars design team is stepping up to the next level in the development of the products' DNA.
"The concept car's exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we've been even more daring - there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.
Volvo Cars engages Orrefors in work with new S60 concept car
Volvo Cars has engaged world-famous Swedish glassworks Orrefors in the work with the S60 concept car where, the graceful, crystal-clear centre stack forms a gentle, calm wave from the instrument panel all the way to the rear seat backrest.
"It almost looks like a waterfall from the instrument panel, flowing through the centre of the car," says Volvo Cars design director Steve Mattin.
The crystal panel appears to float above the centre console's smart functionality. It rests softly on rubber pads and with the help of invisible light sources the crystal's shimmering glow can be tailored to match the driver's mood.
"If you want to explore the full scope of Scandinavian design, Sweden's glassworks are a natural source of inspiration. Large glass areas are also very much part of modern Swedish architecture, creating the special, light transparency," says Steve Mattin.
He adds: "In a concept car, you are able to release your imagination and creativity. Our iconic, super-thin centre stack was the perfect subject. We reinterpreted it and gave it a refined new form. Then it was up to Orrefors to use their superb skill to transform our exciting vision into reality."
Handicraft down to the tiniest detail
The experts at Orrefors were keen to accept the challenge and the result is one of the most unusual and handicraft-intensive objects in the company's 110-year history. Producing the stack was in itself a challenge beyond the ordinary - even for the experienced experts at Orrefors.
Traditionally, the moulds for the crystal are first chiselled by hand from thick planks of alder wood. After casting, the glass is carefully polished to produce its final, crystal-clear lustre.
"The undulating, slightly twisted shape and the precise dimensional requirements were two exciting challenges we had to face. Crystal is a living material, shaped by living people. We are not used to working with tolerances of tenths of a millimetre. What is more, we're talking here about an exceptionally large piece of glass," explains Orrefors design manager Gunilla Arvidsson.
Volvo S60 Concept - featuring GTDi technology for lower CO2 emissions
The engine that Volvo Cars has chosen for the Volvo S60 Concept is a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol unit using high-efficiency GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) technology and producing 180 horsepower.
This engine in combination with a range of other technical measures makes it possible to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 119 g/km (5.0 l/100 km).
In a conventional petrol engine, fuel is injected into the inlet manifold ahead of the inlet valves.
With direct injection, however, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure.
This technology promotes better gas flow with optimised air/fuel mixture and greater resistance to uncontrolled combustion. The result is higher power and lower fuel consumption.
GTDi technology combined with turbocharging makes it possible to reduce engine displacement with maintained performance, but with about 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
"GTDi technology is an important CO2-cutting technology for petrol engines. In the S60 Concept we have also added a number of other developments that further reduce fuel consumption. Several of these features will make their way into our production models in the coming years," says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Cars.
Volvo Cars' first production car with GTDi technology will be introduced during the second half of 2009.
Electric power steering, stratified combustion and other measures
In addition to GTDi technology, the Volvo S60 Concept integrates the following technical features to bring CO2 emissions down to 119 g/km:
- Stratified combustion. The combustion chamber is designed such that a mist consisting of the optimal blend of air and fuel is formed around the spark plug, surrounded in turn by pure air. This allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus cutting fuel consumption.
- Start/stop, a function that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill.
- Powershift. Two manual gearboxes work in parallel, each regulated by its own clutch. Since there is no interruption in torque delivery, gearchanges are instantaneous and the efficiency rating is higher.
- EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). In principle an "electric servo" where the conventional hydraulic pump has been replaced by an electric motor linked directly to the steering system's gear rack.
- "DRIVe-Mode". Gives the driver the possibility of reducing fuel consumption via an "economy mode" that limits the function of a number of selected electrical or mechanical systems. This may for instance include the air conditioning, cruise control or automatic transmission gearchanging settings. Grille shutter. A wind-deflecting panel that can be closed to reduce air drag when there is less need for cooling air.
- Flat underbody panels.
- The use of lightweight materials in the car body.
The driver chooses
"Several of these solutions can deliver significant CO2 reductions in the future since they can be used throughout large sections of the model range. When it comes to "DRIVe-Mode", for instance, the driver can actively cut fuel consumption by reducing the function of certain comfort systems. The idea is that every owner can individually choose which systems he or she wants to limit," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.