“Just like fine luxury goods, this design feels handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time,” says Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation. “We will compete with the best with our unique kind of Scandinavian Design. It is unmatched in performance and technology, but without superficiality or complication.
“When we set out to create this concept, one of the first things I told the designers was not to draw cars for a week. With a pencil, one automatically draws hard lines, and that’s not what we wanted here. Instead I asked them to design sculptures. That way, we brought fluidity and a sculptural gracefulness to the Concept Universe. We reduced the number of lines, and took away all visual noise, to make it as simple and elegant as possible,” says Jonathan Disley, Strategic Design Manager Advanced, at Volvo Cars. “Without the edges, all lines are infinite, marking distinctive inspiration from Scandinavian furniture design as well as Chinese writing. The Concept Universe is entirely built by hand and took a strenuous 8000 hours to finish.
There is a growing appreciation for the ingenious blend of design and technology among luxury car buyers, and Concept Universe offers a fascinating contrast between traditional craftsmanship and highly advanced features. The driver’s in-command environment has intuitive controls and a touch-screen that approaches the hand when the driver reaches towards it. There is also a full-colour 3D head-up display, originally developed for military aviation, presenting the speedometer, navigation system and other important information directly on the windshield, without requiring the driver to look away from his or her viewpoint.