With the XC60 Concept, that will be debut at the 2007 Detroit Motor Show, Volvo is going to expand its XC model family. As with the Volvo C30, the XC60 project was aimed primarily at lifestyle rather than age.
The new Volvo XC60 is planned to reach the showrooms at the beginning of 2009.
Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin and his team have designed the XC60 Concept while keeping their eyes firmly focused on one clear goal.
“The concept car not only provides a good indication of what the XC60 will look like, it also offers a hint of the lines of future Volvo models. With a more sculptured look, our cars will be more extrovert in their visual appeal. If you say that you recognise a Volvo from 50 metres today, I want to get to the point where people will instantly spot it from twice the distance in the future,” says Steve Mattin.
"In recent years we have successfully emphasized the Scandinavian characteristics that base prestige on timeless, functional elegance. Now we’re elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally pumping up our cars’ visual volume," continues Steve Mattin.
He adds: "With more expressive, emotive shapes, it will be a magnet for the viewer’s eyes. If you say that you recognise a Volvo from 50 metres today, I want to get to the point where you will instantly spot it from twice that distance in the future."
From the design viewpoint, the XC60 Concept is defined by Volvo as a "daring, emotionally charged creation".
The concept car, painted in a dashing Tin Bronze livery, has been spiced up with the very best from two dynamic car types.
"Down below, unmistakable and capable XC muscles pump up the car, giving it a purposeful stance with a high ground clearance on large wheels. Above the waistline, the dashing lines trace the profile and sporty charisma of an elegant, sexy coupe", says Steve Mattin.
Front end Design
The classic iron mark was reintroduced on Volvo’s cars almost two years ago and now it has been enlarged to make the brand image even stronger. Embedded in the trapezoidal grille, the large iron mark provides a distinctive signal that the future has arrived.
The new angled position lights on both sides of the grille are also part of the DNA of Volvo’s next car generation. Together with the headlamps and the sweeping front wings, they radiate an aggressive stance that also emphasizes the bonnet’s classical V-shape.
The skid-plates front and rear are integrated to give an elegant yet distinct signal that this is primarily a crossover with pronounced on-road properties.
The sculpted, emotive shapes that are such an important part of Steve Mattin’s design direction in the future become particularly pronounced when the XC60 Concept is viewed from the side.
With 20-inch wheels, accentuated wheel housings and aluminium scuff-plates, the muscular XC feel is emphasised in the lower half of the car, while the windows’ sleek profile and the dramatic roof line give the upper part a sporty coupe ambience.
"At the rear, the expressive, sculptured shapes provide additional hints on the direction our design DNA is set to take.
The contours of the tall tail lamps highlight the muscular shoulders and the tailgate’s trapezoidal shape is a further development of the glass tailgate in the Volvo C30," explains Steve Mattin.
As an original feature, the lower part moves out and up over the upper part. This creates a sufficient opening for small items without requiring the entire tailgate to be opened.
Of course, the tailgate can also be fully opened. The third alternative is to only open the upper part.
Another exciting solution is the dark panel in the lower part of the tailgate. Viewed from inside, it becomes transparent to improve the driver’s ability to see the area behind the car.
At the rear, the Volvo name on the tailgate features more pronounced lettering with wider spacing than before. This too is a new feature that will be echoed throughout the model range to boost the brand’s image.
The interior design of the XC60 Concept is dominated by the instrument panel and floating centre stack and the slim, visually floating front and rear seats.
The atmosphere is defined by the combination of saddle leather and aluminium.
The upper part is typically Scandinavian light, while the lower section has a contrasting dark, espresso brown shade.
Steve Mattin’s team has also given a lot of thought to lighting inside the cabin, with the aim of creating both functional areas of light and a pleasant ambience – mood lighting that emphasises the modern atmosphere inside the XC60 Concept.
Instrument pod with wings
The main instrument pod resembles a bumble-bee with a round analogue speedometer as the “body” in the middle flanked by two digital “wings” featuring display screens for other information. The instrument panel and the new steering wheel harmonize with the iconic floating center stack, which is angled towards the driver. It is even slimmer than what is found in today’s production models, freeing up additional storage space behind the console.
“The white iPod-inspired surface is almost like a smooth wall of snow, surrounded by a metal frame that emphasizes the asymmetrical shape.
Buttons and controls are entirely integrated into the surface and the “invisible” screen for information and navigation appears only when it is switched on, starting up with a spectacular pulsating sequence.
The screen image is back projected, which makes the center stack one of the innovative highlights of the interior,” said Mattin. The four rotary controls also come to life through the start-up sequence. All other buttons are touch sensitive.
The unique gear selector takes the form of a slide control, similar to the controls found on the mixer-table of light and sound technicians. The doors’ control panels are also identical to the center stack.
New slim seats
In the XC60 Concept, seats feature slim, asymmetrical lines that provide added comfort, particularly when climbing in and out of the vehicle.
The light-colored seats appear to float above the dark floor. All the seats have fully integrated seat belts.
The head restraints and backrests, in both the front and rear seats, feature a pony-tail slot.
This feature was introduced a couple of years ago in the Volvo YCC (Your Concept Car), and in the XC60 Concept it has been extended all the way down the back to provide enhanced ventilation and improved rearward vision. The slots also feature integrated ambient lighting.
“By turning his head, the driver can see all the way through his or her own seat, through the rear seat’s backrest and through the transparent panel at the lower corner of the tailgate. This promotes added safety in a car type whose height may otherwise limit rearward vision,” explained Mattin.
The pony tail slots in the rear backrests feature the same type of attachment points as in the luggage compartment floor.
This permits a whole variety of possibilities for using accessories or securing different types of loads.
In addition, there is storage space for a specially designed XC60 Concept luggage set under the rear seats, conveniently accessible via the rear doors
“The XC60 features a number of innovations that indicate how our cars will look in a few years time. The idea of a Volvo being boxy is behind us. Instead, we will make our Scandinavian design heritage more emotional and radiant by adding sculptured, exciting shapes and new, innovative features,” noted Mattin.
“One might say that this could be the C30-owner’s next car. Equally sporty and exciting, but far more capable. The concept car offers a good indication of how the “real” XC60 will look,” says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO at Volvo Cars.
"City Safety" Automatic braking system
If the vehicle in front suddenly brakes and the City Safety senses that a collision is likely to happen it will pre charge the brakes to help the driver to avoid an accident. However, when the system senses that a collision is imminent, the car will brake automatically.
City Safety is active at up to 30 km/h. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is below 15 km/h, the system can help the driver avoid the collision entirely. Between 15 and 30 km/h, the focus is instead on reducing speed as much as possible before the impact.