"The concept car's exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we've been even more daring - there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective," explained Volvo design director Steve Mattin.
Inside, Volvo has attempted to focus on ergonomics and safety. With the combined instrument at the same height as the navigation screen, all it takes is a horizontal eye movement to switch between the sources of information. Another example is that the controls used when you start and stop driving are a few centimetres from each other near the gear selector.
Above the combined instrument, the driver receives information and alerts from a number of safety systems via the windscreen's head-up display. Information from the car's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) is integrated in the A-pillars.
Volvo has also previously announced a partnership with Swedish glass manufacturer Orrefors to help develop the intricate crystal center console for the show car. Orrefors was tasked with designing a crystal version of Volvo’s trademark center console floating stack. The crystal panel appears to float above the center console, however it actually rests softly on rubber pads and invisible light sources can alter the crystal's glow in order to match the driver's mood. Despite its creativity and inventiveness, the practicality of using such an instrument in a production car makes it mostly a design exercise, a fact that has not been lost on Volvo.
"The full-size crystal piece in the concept car will not be a production feature. However, it does open up opportunities to use crystal on a smaller scale in the future. We'll have to see how our customers respond," said Mattin.
PRESS RELEASE said:Viking longboats in the headlamps
The concept car's headlamps unite classic Scandinavian influences with modern high-tech.
In each of the headlamps, the lights create a sculpture creating the image of two miniature Viking longboats sailing side by side, one for main beam and one for dipped beam. When driving in the dark, the light is reflected from the concealed, upward-facing High Performance LED bulbs, projected ahead by the ships' filled sails.
Inspiration from the racing track
"In forthcoming models, you will see more and more of our "racetrack" design cues. The car's lines do not end abruptly but instead forge a continuous flow pattern inspired by the fast sweeps of the racing track. In the concept car, this is particularly visible at the rear," says Steve Mattin.
The tail lamps, which follow the curve of the rear shoulders, are as advanced as the headlamps. When switched off, the lamp panels show no trace of the traditional red or yellow. But when activated, the position marker lights, brake lights and turn indicators come on in their correct colours. The solid glass panel is sectioned into horizontal "slices".
At the rear there is also a retractable diffuser that adjusts with vehicle speed to give better aerodynamic properties.
Interior indicates future design direction
With the interior of the Volvo S60 Concept, Volvo Cars' design director Steve Mattin and his team are displaying a variety of spectacular next-generation ideas.
"You could say that we are showing the road we would like to take in the future. This interior is without doubt the most exclusive we have ever created," says Steve Mattin.
The interior is packed with exciting details, all of which together create a Scandinavian fresh light feeling, full of visual harmony.
In the middle of the four-seater car glitters the jewel in the crown: a floating centre stack made out of handmade, solid Orrefors crystal. It floats like a gentle, calm wave from the instrument panel all the way to the rear seat backrest.
The entire driver's environment has been designed to provide total overview and convenient control.
The combined instrument too has the centre stack's floating, almost weightless feel about it. The instrument is built up in several layers.
"The speedometer is designed as a three-dimensional glass spiral. The low numbers appear closest to the eye and the figures appear to be increasingly distant as you accelerate. The idea is that the speedometer should provide a visual reminder of the forward motion," explains Steve Mattin.
New technology detects pedestrians in the danger zone
The S60 Concept also presents a ground-breaking safety innovation that, among other things, can detect a pedestrian who steps out into the path of the car - and the car's full braking power is automatically activated if the driver does not respond to the danger.
The technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and pedestrian detection, will be introduced in the all-new Volvo S60.
"Up until now, we have focused on helping the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant step forward with a system that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. New sensor technology also makes it possible to advance from fifty percent to full automatic braking power. To our knowledge, none of our competitors have made such progress in this area," explains Thomas Broberg, safety expert at Volvo Cars.
Avoids collisions at speeds below 20 km/h
The car's speed is of considerable significance to the outcome of a collision with a pedestrian. If speed drops from 50 km/h to 30 km/h, the chance of a pedestrian's survival dramatically increases.
"Our aim is that this new technology should help the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians at speeds below 20 km/h. If the car is being driven faster, the aim is to reduce the impact speed as much as possible. In most cases, we can reduce the collision force by about 75 percent," says Thomas Broberg.
This technology is also highly beneficial in the event of rear-end impacts with other vehicles. Studies indicate that half of all drivers who drive into another vehicle from behind do not brake prior to the collision.
In such cases, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake can help entirely avoid a collision if the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 25 km/h.
Visual warning on head-up display
In an emergency situation, the driver first gets an audible warning together with a flashing lightin the windscreen's head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction, the visual warning is designed to look like a brake light coming on in front.
If the driver does not respond to the warning and the system assesses that a collision is imminent, the car's full braking power is activated automatically.
The main aim is still for the initial warning to be sufficient for the driver to brake or manoeuvre away from the hazard. Full automatic braking is an emergency measure that is only activated when the collision is imminent.
Upgraded Adaptive Cruise Control
Volvo Cars' Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has now been upgraded with a queue assist function.
The radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control maintains the set time gap to the vehicle in front all the way down to standstill, making this comfort-enhancing system usable in slow-moving queues with repeated starting and stopping.
CO2-emissions at 119g/km
The engine that Volvo Cars has chosen for the Volvo S60 Concept is a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol unit using high-efficiency GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) technology and producing 180 horsepower.
In a conventional petrol engine, fuel is injected into the inlet manifold ahead of the inlet valves. With direct injection, however, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure.
The engine in combination with a range of other technical measures makes it possible to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 119 g/km (5.0 l/100 km).
Volvo Cars' first production car with GTDi technology will be introduced during the second half of 2009.
Electric power steering, stratified combustion and other measures
In addition to GTDi technology, the Volvo S60 Concept integrates the following technical features to bring CO2 emissions down to 119 g/km:
* Stratified combustion. The combustion chamber is designed such that a mist consisting of the optimal blend of air and fuel is formed around the spark plug, surrounded in turn by pure air. This allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus cutting fuel consumption.
* Start/stop, a functionality that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill.
* Powershift. Two manual gearboxes work in parallel, each regulated by its own clutch.
* EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). In principle an "electric servo" where the conventional hydraulic pump has been replaced by an electric motor.
* "DRIVe-Mode". Gives the driver the possibility of reducing fuel consumption via an "economy mode" that limits the function of a number of selected electrical or mechanical systems.
* Grille shutter. A wind-deflecting panel that can be closed to reduce air drag when there is less need for cooling air.
* Flat underbody panels.
* The use of lightweight materials in the car body.