Volvo Concept Recharge rethinks interior materials

  • Volvo’s Recharge concept introduces new sustainable materials that the automaker wants to introduce into vehicle interiors.
  • Nordico is a new leather alternative created by Volvo made from bio-based and recycled ingredients from forests in Sweden and Finland.
  • The concept indicates the possible return of some classic design elements in future models, such as a more vertical tailgate.

    Earlier this summer, Volvo unveiled the Concept Recharge, calling it a manifesto for the brand’s future, intended as a preview of the automaker’s upcoming design strategy and language. And as the concept itself demonstrated, Volvo was also taking a look at the design past, with a shape that should be familiar to those who have seen a Volvo wagon over the past 30 years.

    In June, Volvo did not reveal many details about the interior of the vehicle, focusing mainly on the exterior. Now Volvo takes another look at the concept, this time focusing on interior details as well as aerodynamics.

    As for the exterior design, we can see quite a few cars from Volvo’s history in the lines of the Concept Recharge, from the innovative 1993 850 wagon to newer models featuring the shape of Thor’s hammer in the headlights. .

    Volvo wants to introduce a number of sustainable materials in its future cars.


    As for the interior materials, Volvo used a fabric made from responsibly sourced Swedish wool on the top of the dashboard and the seat backs, described as a warm and soft material with no additives. The seat backs and headrests, meanwhile, were made from a new material created by the automaker called Nordico, which we first heard about not too long ago. Volvo says the material, designed to be soft to the touch, is made from bio-based and recycled ingredients obtained from forests in Finland and Sweden. A number of other vehicle surfaces are made from a fabric containing Tencel fibers made from cellulose, while others, including the surfaces of the lower storage areas, use a flax composite which contains flax fibers mixed with other fibers. Even the front and rear bumpers on the outside were made from a linen composite.

    “With Concept Recharge, we have created a comfortable and functional family space,” said Lisa Reeves, Head of Interior Design. “The cabin offers sophisticated shapes through the use of natural materials and the harmonization of textures and tones, reflecting the timeless elegance of upscale Scandinavian design.”

    The use of sustainable materials even extends to specially created Pirelli tires, which are made from 94% fossil-free materials, including rayon, recycled natural rubber, biosilica and bioresin.

    The automaker also paid attention to aerodynamics when creating the concept, which features a significantly lower roof and straighter tailgate, something we almost never thought to see in a crossover again, given the trend. cut-out style roofs. . The Concept Recharge certainly gives us some flashbacks to Volvo station wagons of the 1990s, including the 960 and 850, the latter having introduced the large, roof-reaching headlights into Volvo’s design repertoire.

    Volvo recharge concept, interior detail dashboard
    The top of the dashboard is in Swedish wool.


    “As we enter the age of the electric car, the distance you can travel on a full charge will be a key factor,” said Owen Ready, head of strategic design and branding at Volvo Cars. “The simplest approach is to add more batteries, but it’s not the same as just adding a bigger fuel tank today – batteries add weight and increase the carbon footprint. Instead, we need to increase overall efficiency to increase autonomy. With Concept Recharge, we explore the tension between the need for efficiency and the desire to have the same space, convenience and driving experience as in today’s SUVs. “

    Oddly enough, this concept is not about the powertrain – Volvo didn’t even say what’s under the skin of this car, although the foundations of the current XC40 Recharge are a logical guess. This concept is more about interior design and materials, with Volvo making it clear what body style it sees in the future.

    How close is this concept to previewing something we might see in a Volvo store relatively soon?

    Volvo has left no trace of a single production vehicle that closely follows this particular concept, although it should be noted that the successor to the Volvo XC90, due next year, will be offered in battery-electric form in more than a gasoline powertrain expected. . We wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the Concept Recharge design cues in the XC90 successor next year.

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