Interior design

Interior design  - Overview - Volvo C70

The interior of the new Volvo C70 has also been given an update to create a more comfortable and luxury feel. The instrument panel has been redesigned to give it a wider, sleeker look with improved finish. The surface of the panel has a new texture that enhances the quality feel.

The cabin of the new Volvo C70 is inspired by modern Scandinavian design. 'It is simple, functional and clean,' says design director Peter Horbury. 'Inspiration has come more from Scandinavian product design than pure car design.'

The innovative super-thin 'floating' centre stack, first seen on the Volvo S40 saloon, then the V50 Sportswagon, and most recently on the Volvo XC60 Crossover, is still featured on the new Volvo C70. This not only looks terrific, but hosts most of the major controls in a simple and ergonomic manner. It is available in different trim finishes: aluminium or Nordic light oak or new Oyster Burst.

The inspiration for the interior came from outside the car world. "If you want to be innovative, there is little point looking at what the competition is doing," explains Peter Horbury, Volvo's Design Director. "It is far more valuable to look at what they're not doing."

Volvo's design teams were influenced instead by the Scandinavian design tradition of clean surfaces and uncluttered lines. They drew inspiration, for example, from the elegant simplicity of the classic compression-moulded Series 7 chair, designed by the world-famous Arne Jacobsen.

Trends in high-tech electrical equipment, such as cameras, audio systems and computers, were also studied. Notes were taken on how the designers use and combine new materials so that they form part of the user-experience. These disparate influences - classic Scandinavian style and high-tech innovation - were combined to create a radically different interior concept.

The interior is built up of several visual layers. The first is an edge that flows around the base of the windscreen and along the door frames, trimming the entire interior. This provides occupants with the impression that they are safely ensconced in a cocoon.

The second layer is the primary fascia, which is minimalist. The air vents and secondary controls are positioned in individual islands, while the main instruments are grouped in two round gauges, surrounded by contrasting metal bezels. The choice of fascia finish is also significant - Volvo has eschewed the traditional leather look in favour of a new texture that conveys a sense of cutting-edge technical innovation.

The ultra-thin central instrument stack forms the uppermost layer. Boasting a prominent position in the centre of the car, it fulfils the role of a remote control unit in a contemporary home entertainment system.

Unlike most convertibles, the new Volvo C70 is a full four-seater. Four adults can be seated in comfort on long journeys, roof up or down. The two rear seats have comfortably angled backrests and generous space to the side. The front seats are ergonomically shaped and can be folded forward easily to facilitate entry to the rear seat. Legroom in the front seat is also very generous. To further enhance comfort levels, the seats in the new C70 have been upholstered in a new, softer hide to offer all occupants a greater level of comfort. A vibrant Cranberry accent leather has also been introduced.

There are spacious storage areas beside each seat and several of them are linked to the car's central locking system for convenient locking using the remote control.

The boot is also spacious, for a convertible of this size. It has a 404-litre capacity roof-up and a still-generous 200-litres roof folded. A practical boot divider makes it easy to assess how much can be loaded with the roof down. To facilitate loading and unloading when the roof is down, the whole roof package is lifted approximately 200 mm with the aid of an electric motor and a control button. A ski hatch makes it possible to transport long objects.

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