Volvo design boss believe the company is well positioned to be a world leader in car design of the cab due to the passenger-focused interior layout.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design, explained that while European rivals have focused on driver-centric cabins, Volvo has long priority total comfort for the passengers.
“Not being a company that has a passion for the power and driver focus means that we have spent more time exploring the passenger lounge area,” he said. “The S90 Excellence [three-seater model for China], we used a special central console, and took a seat at the discovery of what could actually do with this space.”
To this end, Volvo has conducted studies to better understand how to maximize the well-being of all the passengers, for many years, and look at the case, this knowledge is now relevant to car design.
The Volvo Chinese R&D centre will play a key role in the design of the cabin
“Now we see that all these exercises have become items in a big puddle, and there were, of course, the research in this area,” Ingenlath said. “It shows that our way to look at the camera of course has transformed in how you use the car in the future.”
Robin Page, vice president of interior design at Volvo, said that the brand’s global approach to design, with its three design studios based in Sweden, America and China, would also help to better adapt to future models of local markets.
“We have a studio in California, and it was noticed that Los Angeles as a market of the auto is a driver for electronic development. China is more about the rear passengers and luxury, while Europe is a bit special in that it still focuses on the drivers,” he explained.
The page said that while these markets had a slightly different needs for cars, electric, autonomous, technology and connectivity are the three most common areas of focus.
“The hard part, from our point [meet these needs] we need to add more feature content, entertainment and things that you can have fun and put [passengers] in the different situations, when you are not driving the car,” continued Page.
He said that the seats would be, then, becomes an increasingly important part of the design of the cabin. “The seats will be doing a lot more; if you want to move to a different location, as does the seat move?”
The page referenced in the Volvo Concept 26 the cabin, which has experimented with adjustable seats that allowed the driver to lie down, offering a glimpse of the Volvo of the future interior.
“The C26 was certainly not as a distant future dream,” added Ingenlath. “It was something that he explored the type of cabin for our next generation of cars. We will see all the features? No. But let’s see some of them? Yes.”
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