Tuesday 19 April 2011

Concept Car: Volvo Universe

Volvo has previewed it's first concept that will take on large executive sedans at Shanghai. Named Universe, the show-car is described by Volvo as a “large, luxurious sedan with a new human-centric design language that honours the beautiful lines of classic Volvo models”.

"Just like fine luxury goods, this design feels handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time," says Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation. "We will compete with the best with our special kind of Scandinavian Design. It is unmatched in performance and technology, but without superficiality or complication."

Jacoby also noted: "The Concept Universe offers the world a sneak preview of what people can expect from our next top-of-the-line sedan".

Sources say the Universe concept doesn't underpin a specific Volvo platform as the engine strategy and future platform are being decided. Although the show-car doesn't measure the class average of five metres plus, the car apparently wouldn't need to be altered for the Chinese market as the vehicle boasts “best-in-class interior space”.

"Our aim is to be the brand that best understands what buyers of modern luxury cars want. We are eager to hear what the most demanding Chinese customers think of this luxurious concept. Later, we will show the design in Europe and the United States in order to bring it into the global context that we are aiming for with all our car models," concluded Jacoby.

The Universe program begun 12 months ago, according to exterior designer Jonathon Disley after designer's were asked to created a new design language. Disley said “We felt that the most classic models were soft and voluptuous but also offered a sense of protection. We had a request from chairman Lee [boss of Geely, Volvo’s owners] to reflect the serenity in light when the sun is rising or setting and to create something intriguing in the nose.”

Work took just 17 weeks from the final sketches to the clay model, which was processed directly from computer drawings.

Volvo said “The in-command driver environment has intuitive controls and a touch-screen that approaches the hand when the driver reaches towards it - with everything operated from a seat that is inspired by ultra-comfortable chairs. Passengers in the rear seat are embraced by pure comfort. The interior moulds into the rear seat and becomes part of the seating environment.” 

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