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VOLVO DESIGN MANAGER

ÖRJAN STERNER

“Studying ocean racing heightens my understanding of aerodynamics and greatly benefits my work in design.”

“I now have a great understanding of aerodynamics that I relate directly to ocean racing.”

“Understanding how sails work has helped me a great deal in understanding the aerodynamics of the car.”

“Studying ocean racing heightens my understanding of aerodynamics and greatly benefits my work in design.”

VOLVO DESIGN MANAGER

ÖRJAN STERNER

We’re involved in one of the toughest ocean races in the world to learn all we can from the extreme conditions. Slide your cursor from side to side to discover the world of the extreme for yourself. The Volvo XC60 is designed around you. Click anywhere when appears to open a hotspot.

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http://www.volvocars.com/intl

Volvo Ocean Race

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#CommandtheExtreme with your #VolvoXC60. Explore the interactive experience:

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Cars

Volvo Ocean Race Editions

XC60

XC70

V60

V70

SPEED-DEPENDENT STEERING

Steering differs on a tight country bend compared to a motorway. That’s why your XC60 comes with steering that adapts to each situation. When driving down a motorway, the wheel is firmer and sportier; during off-road and slow driving, the steering is light and effortless. Giving you a controlled drive that is constantly being designed and redesigned around you.

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HALDEX© AWD

In the blink of an eye, driving conditions can go from one extreme to another. The advanced Haldex© All-Wheel Drive system is designed to detect, and then direct power to the area where there is most stability. So, when one wheel struggles to grip, the others, like a committed crew, jump into action to keep your journey stable. You need look no further for a drive system designed around you and your most demanding journeys.

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AUTOMATIC LEVELLING

When you tow or carry a heavy load, perfect balance is vital but hard to achieve. Your XC60 comes with an Automatic Levelling option to give you peace of mind when your focus needs to be on the road. Automatic Levelling adjusts the rear shock absorbers, enabling the vehicle to maintain road holding, ground clearance and headlight angle. Designed around you, wherever you go and whatever you choose to take with you.

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AERODYNAMICS

High speeds make the balance of a car even more essential. Thanks to the Volvo Ocean Race, our designers know all they need to know about airflow. This enables them to craft the shape of your XC60 with optimum stability in mind. Each line of your XC60, from the ducktail spoiler down to the rounded underside, adds up to the perfect balance of down-force and reduced drag, keeping you sure-footed in any unexpected situation. Designed around you by people who understand more.

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CHASSIS

One of the first things you notice when driving your XC60 is that the handling defies a vehicle of this type. The chassis is designed to provide perfect balance in all conditions. It incorporates advanced suspension, a rigid body and a low centre of gravity, coupled with generous ground clearance, to deliver more control than normal sedans and typical 4WDs. Which goes to show that the XC60, above all others, is designed around you.

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DSTC

Realising when you’re about to lose control is key to maintaining control. Volvo’s Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system registers the car’s roll rate continuously, detecting gradually increasing skids at an early stage and reacting to them immediately. This helps stabilise the car in evasive manoeuvres, particularly when it is exposed to high lateral forces. After all, prevention is better for you than cure.

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STACKING SAILS

The Volvo Open 70 uses the most advanced materials and is stripped down to the bare minimum to keep it agile. Finding ways of balancing these monster craft often requires the ingenuity of the crew. As is common practice in boats like this, the sails are stacked on the windward side to balance out the force of the wind in the mainsail and drive the boat forward. Physical strength and stamina are essential, as the crew may need to lift the sails, which weigh 2 tonnes, from side to side several times a day, a process that takes around 30 minutes each time.

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GRINDING & TRIMMING

Like a tightrope walker, a racing Volvo Open 70 needs an expert eye to keep it in line. In a race like this, the smallest of adjustments gives you a huge advantage over a long period of time. However, it is physically demanding and often leads to severe wounds on the hands. Special systems onboard are designed to summarise the performance of the boat. So, if you’re not 100% focused, 100% of the time, it shows on the readout.

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HIKING

It’s all about weight distribution. ‘Hiking’ uses the body weight of the crew to force the boat over, which is harder than it sounds. Even though the boat itself is incredibly light carbon fibre, the canting keel weighs around 7 tonnes. But, in the right hands, these boats are like Formula 1 cars on water. A Volvo Ocean 70 holds the current monohull speed record. This was made in the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race when Ericsson 4 travelled an amazing 602.66 nautical miles (1116.126 km) at an average speed of 25.11 knots (46.50 kph). Getting the balance wrong at these speeds is catastrophic. Wiping out isn’t an option, and a broken mast means ‘game over’ instantly.

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HELMING

A good helmsman makes severe conditions look a lot calmer than they feel. A strong wind can be a racing crew’s worst enemy, or best friend. Here, the helmsman makes constant adjustments to keep the boat safely on rails in storm force conditions. It’s a permanent job maintaining the balance between pushing to maximum speed and keeping the boat in one piece. One bad decision sometimes means an overloaded boom, sail or foil, and you don’t want any of those to break in racing conditions. Volvo Ocean Race racers can face winds of up to 65 knots. That’s enough to blow the roof off a house.

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TACKING

A boat may have the freedom to navigate the whole sea, but in racing, it’s the fastest way that must be found. This may not necessarily be the most direct route. As conditions change in a second, the crew must constantly assess the movement of the boat to ensure it is on the fastest course given the latest weather forecast. A regular shift is four hours, but in extreme circumstances, crewmembers are forced to work up to 25 hours straight, which makes optimum performance the work of a true endurance athlete.

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