“A sports car with a surprise in the tail”. That’s how Örjan Sterner, the Exterior Design Manager describes one of the salient features on the 3CC concept that Volvo has made into a “technology demonstrator” which offers a variety of practical ideas for sustainable mobility in the years to come.
“When we started work on this concept in January 2004”, continues Sterner, “we asked ourselves how we could apply state-of-the-art technology to the values of the family car that has always been our brand’s core business”.
That’s where the “surprise in the tail” Sterner mentioned began to take shape. Unwilling to sacrifice any of the car’s sporty character that is largely the product of its streamlined silhouette and tapered tail, the designers came up with the idea of a seating layout that could accommodate either three adults or two adults plus two children.
The approach is easily understood, if you remember how naturally a single back seat passenger will move to the centre of the bench seat and lean forward to join the conversation in the front seats. As Tisha Johnson, Interior Designer Manager, explains: “everything in the interior rotates around the family ambience you can create with two seats in the front and a single central seat behind.
Instead of struggling to squash two seats into a tiny space, we designed a robust bench seat that can accommodate one adult or two kids in total comfort”.
The 3CC has a range of 300 km since it can call on the energy accumulated during braking by its 3000 lithium fuel cells stored under the floor. When combined with front wheel drive this offers the appetising prospect of sports car performance combined with environmental compatibility.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 150