Volvo Concept Estate highlights the automaker’s current interior design direction with a large touchscreen replacing traditional controls.
Volvo Concept Estate inspired by classic 1800 ES from late 1970s.
Volvo will unveil the Concept Estate at next week’s Geneva auto show, a vehicle designed to highlight the automaker’s interior design direction.
The vehicle, the third in a series of concepts shown by Volvo, features a large tablet touchscreen in the center console that replaces traditional buttons and controls.
The automaker says the screen will combine traditional tablet features, such as the ability to swipe and pinch, with new capabilities specifically for vehicles.
“The new user interface is designed to create a smooth, logical and safe interaction between the driver and the car,” Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president-design, says in a statement. “This goes far beyond just putting a large tablet in the center of the dashboard. We have created a digital environment that is fully integrated into the car.”
Touchscreen controls are arranged as a stack of tiles, each displaying a specific function. Navigation is on top, followed by media and telephone. A thin notification band is located above the tiles, while the digital climate controls are at the bottom.
“Using the screen is so logical that it will be part of your muscle memory very quickly,” Ingenlath says.
The user interface is designed so the tiles expand on interaction. When one tile expands to display information the others are compressed, but still visible and accessible.
The exterior of the concept is meant to convey Volvo’s long history in producing wagons, including the current V70 and XC70 CUV.
The automaker says the concept offers “significant clues” as to what the new XC90 CUV and subsequent cars will look like. The XC90, due later this year, will be the first to feature the new touchscreen control panel.
The rear of the concept was inspired by the design of the Volvo 1800 ES from the early 1970s. Other elements borrowed from the 1800 are a 2-spoke steering wheel, the instrument panel and dials.