Following on from the 2010 Volvo Concept Universe the Volvo Concept You was presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Volvo Concept You was essentially an evolution of the previous design, and one which looked a little closer to reality.
Although I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, Volvo’s designers seem to have heeded our call for a rethink on the Concept Universe’s headlights and grille and come up with a solution that’s a little bit more appealing. Volvo stated that the Concept Universe was a preview of what to expect in the future from the company, and they’ve said the same thing for the Concept You. They’ve also said that they are listening closely to public comments on both cars as they edge closer and closer to a production model.
The Volvo Concept You isn’t exactly a beautiful car in the classic sense of the word, or any other for that matter. But it is unique and a little bit different – something die-hard Volvo fans find just as appealing. It combines a four-door coupe-like profile with the traditional sturdiness of classic Volvos. Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation said of the Concept You’s design: “The fastback profile mirrors a strong trend among European buyers. With growing signs that Chinese “taste buds” are moving rapidly in the same direction, our main aim is to explore how daring our next large sedan should be in order to be a global success. We are very eager to hear what people think about the Concept You.”
The Volvo Concept You’s styling is supposed to reflect its Scandinavian heritage, while also being suitable for markets around the world. The concept is based on Volvo’s new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) which has both technological and industrial advantages over a one-model platform.
The interior of the Volvo Concept You features numerous gadgets and electronic wizardry, but at the same time it feels spacious and relaxing. The concept uses a number of touch screens instead of buttons, which has the effect of de-cluttering the dashboard and center console. A heads-up-display provides the driver with vital information, while small touch-screen panels on the steering wheel spokes allow for fingertip control of secondary functions.
The touch-screen display in the upper part of the centre console remains in sleep mode until the driver looks at it. A hidden infrared camera registers the eye movements and information is displayed on the screen. It sounds like a great idea, but it could get irritating for the front-seat passenger.
Another hidden sensor registers hand movements and triggers the car’s Infotainment interface. The possibilities vary depending on whether the screen is approached by the driver or by the front passenger.
“Certain functions, such as surfing the Web, are only accessible from the passenger side while the car is rolling. The technology knows who is the present operator and adapts itself automatically,” says Peter Horbury.
The driver can send data from the central touch-screen to the head-up display and can exchange data with the rear passengers. A light guide in the free-floating centre console indicates file transfer. It all sounds very slick, but if talking on your phone while driving is dangerous, then surely file-sharing at 70 mph is no better? Also, whatever happened to just opening your mouth and speaking to people!