The Volvo Car Corporation now takes the next bold step in the evolution of the company's upcoming large luxury sedan.
The Concept You, revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, combines a sleek coupe-like exterior with a luxurious high-tech interior that keeps the driver in command via intuitive smart pad technology.
The Concept You picks up where the Concept Universe, 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 steering wheel has aluminium and glass paddles with 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 with the rear passengers. A light guide in the free-floating centre console indicates file transfer.
Unique 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 with 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 with several other famous brands in order to create a genuine feeling of luxury with 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 with 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 with 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 with large, handcrafted pieces of walnut - accompanied by leather panels, Dinamica suede roof lining and carefully chosen aluminium details.
Hand-tufted wool carpets
The wooden floor, which echoes Scandinavian homes, is covered with a specially designed hand-tufted carpet from world-famous Swedish brand Kasthall. Just like the rest of the interior it fades from dark in the front to light in the rear. The front texture has a sporty firmness, while the rear part of the carpet is luxuriously soft.
"The interior is full of classic forms, materials and textures, used with a twist to create a special contemporary luxury experience. It is exceptionally refined, yet with 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 with 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 with a twisted twin-spoke design and tyres from Pirelli (275/30/21).
Up front, the Concept You grille - which has a more classic appearance than the Concept Universe - features details with 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. Uncluttered, 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 with 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 with the same technology that jewellers use for mounting precious stones.