Volvo has announced a Concept Recharge, which is said to represent a new paradigm in their car’s designs that will act as a manifesto for the next generation of pure electric Volvos. Volvo Cars has always seen electrification as more than simply a shift in powertrains. Staying true to the heritage of Scandinavian design, Concept Recharge has the mantra of ‘less but better’.
For example, by eradicating the complex internal combustion engine, the designers have managed to enhance the car’s proportions to increase interior space while also improving aerodynamic efficiency. The result is a car that offers better solutions to support a sustainable family life. Although Volvo’s first generation of electric cars shares a floor with combustion engine-powered cars, requiring a balance in proportions and space to be able to fit both, a battery pack and an internal combustion engine.
But, as per Volvo Cars, the next generation of Volvo’s fully electric cars – the first is the company’s first SUV based completely on a new electric-only tech, featuring flat floors as previewed in the Concept Recharge. By removing the engine and replacing it with a full battery pack under the flat floor, the designers have extended the wheelbase and the wheel size of the car, resulting in shorter overhangs and more interior space, including large storage area between the front seats. Volvo cars such as the XC40, XC60 AND XC90, as per the Concept Recharge, have eld designers to reposition seats, optimise the roof profile and lower the hood of the car. This in turn gives better aerodynamics and improves range as compared to a typical SUV.
The concept also introduces new Volvo design language, and all redundant elements have been removed, continuing the theme of ‘less but better’. What remains is treated with high-precision affluent execution. The traditional grille is replaced with a shield-like structure, supported by a new interpretation of Volvo Car’s Thor’s Hammer headlight design. The signature vertical rear lamps are redesigned with a set of wings which open at high cruising speeds to improve the aerodynamics.
“Our Concept Recharge represents a manifesto for the all-electric future of Volvo Cars, as well as a new type of vehicle,” said Robin Page, head of design. “It displays new and modern proportions that go hand-in-hand with increased versatility and shows what technology can enable in terms of design.”
What becomes the centre of a new and improved user experience, is a large 15-inch standing touch screen as the company’s next-gen infotainment system. It has been designed to be logical and instinctive to use and provides a serene and calm experience. It goes hand in hand with the hallmarks of Scandinavian design: clean line and great use of sustainable and natural materials on the interiors. The Concept Recharge also reflects Volvo Car’s safety ambitions in coming years. A LiDAR sensor, built by technology company Luminar is a critical part of Volvo Cars’ plan for next safe autonomous drive technology. It is placed in an optimal position on the roof to collect data on the environment around the car.
“Inside the Concept Recharge, we create a truly Scandinavian living room feeling,” said Robin Page. “The interior integrates our latest user experience technology with beautiful, sustainable and natural materials. Each part of the interior is like a piece of art and could stand alone as individual furniture in a room. We use the latest technologies but not for their own sake. We always focus on the benefits that technologies can bring.”
Finally, the Concept Recharge also reflects Volvo Cars’ safety ambitions in coming years. “With the Concept Recharge we continue the rich roots of Volvo's design DNA in a modern and fresh way as we move into our all-electric future,” concluded Robin Page. “It represents everything we believe customers expect from a pure electric Volvo and we’re excited to take this philosophy into our next generation of cars.”