A power-operated tailgate is like an extra pair of hands to help you, says Volvo Cars’ engineer, Marika Stolpe

Words: Leo Wilkinson

“The first time my son saw the powered tailgate in action he thought it was magic,” says Marika Stolpe, Lead Engineer, Access Systems for Volvo Cars.

This innovation makes life easier by allowing you to open or close the tailgate remotely using a button on the remote control, dashboard or the tailgate itself. When it’s combined with the keyless entry option you don’t even need to press a button – simply move your foot under the rear bumper and the tailgate raises or lowers electrically on demand.

Impressive as this feature is, its power lies in what it can do for you rather than how it works. “With every Volvo innovation the focus is on the benefit for people, not the technology itself,” Marika says.
“It’s about taking the strain out of things,” Marika explains. Being able to open the tailgate by waving your foot under the bumper means that there’s no need to put down what you’re holding if your hands are full, for example, and no need to touch the tailgate if it’s dirty. “It’s like having an extra pair of hands to help you,” Marika says.

A separate button on the tailgate activates a combined locking function that lets you close the tailgate and lock the car in one easy action. And, in a matter of seconds, you can set a height limit so that the tailgate always stops just where you want it to. “That means it’s perfectly tailored to the reach of your arm, or the height of your garage,” Marika says.

When combined with rear seat backs that fold electrically at the touch of a button, the powered tailgate makes loading and unloading the car effortless. Magic? No. Just clever technology that makes life feel easier.

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