Volvo Versatility Concept Car is designed to show that Volvo can make a clue about the future of big cars for the premium market without compromising on core values of quality, safety and concern for the environment. VCC brings the concept of estate to a new level of performance, technology and luxury.
The exterior design of the VCC looks dramatic and simple. A number of characteristic design elements ensure that no one will lose the fact that this is Volvo.
The most striking component at the front is the slim headlights and vertically mounted. The inside of the two lights uses a system known as Static Bending Light with three units of lights aimed at different angles. The upper fixture leads straight ahead and functions as a conventionally inserted beam. When the car rotates, however, the sensor connected to the steering wheel activates unit two and finally three to illuminate the direction where the car is headed. This system carves a superior light pattern in the dark when driving on a turning road, thus increasing safety standards. The outer headlamp contains the main light and the side lamp marker.
Front and rear indicators and door handles echo the linear character of the headlights, and are visually connected via ‘Volvo Arch’. The 20 inch wheel has 245/40/20 Run Flat ‘tires that are safe from puncture.
The VCC design is also characterized by the absence of a B-pillar, made possible by hanging the back door on the back, not the front. This design promotes exceptional interior appearance, but, for security reasons, is not intended for production cars.
The interior of the VCC is an expression of Scandinavian luxury translated into Volvo’s own design language; welfare sensations that come from high-quality materials, spacious and airy interiors and an experience of ‘sensory’ versatility.
The Versatile Concept Car is also a reaction to the trend of increasing the number of functions and controls in the center console. On VCC, the number of controls on the center console has been reduced to only climate units and security functions, displaying the legacy of Volvo’s excellent ergonomic design and Scandinavian simplicity. The slider, which controls the temperature and fan speed, is designed to provide a feeling of comfort to the user, and to control a high-tech system.
All other information is available to the driver in the display module, which displays digital instruments from analog designs for speed, rpm, engine temperature and amount of fuel. This gauge is a digital interpretation of metal numbers in Volvo performance cars: S60 R and V70 R.
Digital screens for instruments provide additional flexibility; when the driver wants to use the navigation system, the map is superimposed on the speedometer reading and the rotation counter. In the same way, the screen can create a pop-up window that contains information about the music playing on the audio system.
When the car starts, the system confirms that the car’s safety system is functioning properly by displaying all its icons on the display: WHIPS, SIPS, IC, DSTC, SRS AIRBAG. Drivers control various functions through controls grouped around the steering wheel hub, and through conventionally positioned rods on both sides of the steering wheel.
Basic VAAC is a container that is installed in the engine compartment, where two filters are placed. When driving, the fan of the car’s ventilation system sucks air from the surrounding area and directs it through a filter, which traps nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, thus cleaning the air before entering the passenger compartment. When the filter is filled, they are heated to 150 degrees Celsius using heat from the engine exhaust gas system. Nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons are then released from the filter and transferred to the engine. Hydrocarbons are burned in the engine cylinders, while nitrogen oxides are reduced in car catalytic converters.
To improve the efficiency of the VAAC system, the Versatility Concept Car is equipped with sensors that monitor the surrounding air outside the vehicle. When a certain level of pollution is detected, the fan will be activated in response. This happens regardless of whether the car is used or not, because the solar cells installed on the roof power the ventilation system fan even when the car is parked. Thus the system can absorb hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides even when the engine is turned off.
The VAAC system can operate continuously for two days during normal urban conditions before the filter reaches capacity. The contents are then automatically thrown into the machine. ‘VAAC needs a modern gasoline engine that functions properly so the system can work efficiently,’ explained Jan Karlsson, project leader for VAAC development at Volvo Cars. ‘With the standard SULEV engine (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle), the Versatility Concept Car neutralizes the emission of hydrocarbons produced by up to three other cars, and thus helps clean the surrounding air. ‘
The roof panel has an X-frame with ambient lighting. This is operated by slider controls in the overhead console. The lit Inflatable Curtain logo offers another reminder of the safety systems incorporated in the roof panel.
The solar panels on the semi-transparent roof and enhance the feeling of spaciousness, and provide power for the Volvo Ambient Air Cleaner (VAAC) system. This continuously cleanses the air in the car even when the engine is not working (see VAAC release).
Volvo Versatility Concept Car (VCC), shows that high performance does not need to go hand in hand with high fuel consumption and high environmental impact. The VCC concept engine, an injected in-line six-cylinder turbocharged powerplant moves 2.6 liters directly and produces an impressive 250 hp; but consumes no more than 6.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. “The innovative new engine and transmission technology allows this very low number in a ten-year perspective,” said Derek Crabb, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Corporation.
And now with the Versatility Concept Car (VCC), it’s time to show that the large and luxurious V-Range cars from Volvo can have a clearly-marked pro-environment profile. Very low fuel consumption, only 6.5 liters / 100 km in cars exceeding 1,300 kg, achieved through a series of new technologies. And while this technology is not yet ready for production, Volvo Car Corporation is currently evaluating them within 10 years of availability.
The base engine, an in-line direct injection six-cylinder unit with 2.6-liter displacement, presents a new turbo technology that prioritizes combustion efficiency. This technology makes use of a greater positive push pressure to clean the combustion chamber of all traces of exhaust gas, thereby increasing efficiency ratings. A higher compression ratio is equivalent to a natural aspiration engine.
Direct & Stop Start means the engine turns off when the car stops, such as at a traffic light or on a stationary traffic lane. When it was time to move again and the clutch was at a drag point, the fuel was injected directly into the engine, which immediately ignited the mixture and accelerated the car.
Compression Auto Ignition (CAI) utilizes the benefits of a large engine to cut fuel consumption and reduce exhaust emissions, but this is contrary to the first vote. This system creates a slim and homogeneous fuel / air mixture that is ignited by compression when the engine is run at part load and at low to moderate rpm.
Automated Shifted Manual is an ordinary manual gearbox that can be shifted automatically with the help of electronically controlled actuators. Drivers can use it exactly like conventional automatic transmissions. However, because the manual gearbox has a higher efficiency rating than automatic – because of lower friction losses – the end result is lower fuel consumption.
The problem of torque loss that appears when automatic manual shifting is completed in the VCC concept engine with Electric Drive (ED). The ED unit, which is powered by a separate 42-volt battery, also provides extra propulsion power at low speed, before the turbocharger reaches the required increase, eliminating turbo-lag problems.
Electric Drive also provides free energy batteries. When the driver raises the accelerator to reduce speed, the car’s forward motion gives power to the ED unit which in turn recharges the 42 volt battery. This energy can be used, for example, to drive the Versatility Car Concept for short distances with electric power, for example at very low speeds when crawling forward in heavy traffic. The ED unit can be installed either on the drive shaft or directly on the rear wheels.
In the Car Versatility Concept, the above technology is combined with the use of lightweight materials, especially aluminum and carbon fiber. The result is a ten percent reduction in weight compared to the Volvo S80 of the same size.
Gallery of 2003 Volvo Versatility Concept Car Specs and Review
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