The third in Volvo’s trio of concept previews was officially revealed today ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut next week.
Stylistic changes to the wagon version of Volvo’s concept are minimal compared to the Concept Coupe first seen last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. It wears the same front fascia with T-shaped headlights and a rectangular grille. The company hasn’t said what sort of powertrain the concept is supposed to use.
Of course the cabin is more spacious and practical, Volvo is really trying to highlight its new user interface system. The brand will unveil that system next week in Geneva, but explained the details today. It centers around a tablet-sized touch screen meant to simplify and enhance how users access features in Volvo vehicles. The company sorely needs to streamline its in-car system interfaces. As a leader in safety technology, the brand’s products often feature innovative systems, but they’re too confusing for some people to understand. In 2012, the company’s CEO admitted that even he found them to be convoluted.
So will a helping of high-tech wizardry bring the Swedish brand’s customers a more straightforward experience? Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design at Volvo Car Group, hopes so.
“The new user interface is designed to create a smooth, logical and safe interaction between the driver and the car. 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 in the car.”
The system will first arrive with the new XC90 crossover later this year. Volvo says the system is best described as a stack of flexible tiles that each display a key functionality like navigation, phone controls and a media interface. Pressing one of the tiles causes it to expand while the others shrink but remain visible.
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