Global Ratings Confirm Volvo Cars’ Safety Leadership
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Jan. 9, 2014) - Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) keeps moving toward its vision that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo. In 2013, top results from independent rating institutes all over the world emphasized the company remains on top when it comes to automotive safety.
The most recent rating result is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for the Volvo S80 in the United States. During 2013, sales of Volvo cars equipped with systems for automatic braking also passed the 1 million mark.
“Viewed together, all the top ratings during the past year emphasize our world-leading position in automotive safety. We are very proud to offer consumers some of the world’s safest cars,” says Thomas Broberg, senior safety advisor at Volvo Cars.
Previously, the Volvo S60, XC60 and XC90 received a 2013 Top Safety Pick+ ranking, after IIHS extended its scope by integrating the small overlap test in 2012.
The S80 Top Safety Pick+ results include good performance in the small overlap front test, which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object, such as a tree or a utility pole – a very severe crash situation. In the test, 25 percent of the front end on the driver’s side strikes a 5-foot-high rigid barrier at 40 mph.
“Our safety cage features a robust design with a blend of different steel qualities. The new IIHS test program confirms the exceptional crash worthiness of this patented solution. Similar mixes of steel qualities are used in all current Volvo models and the technology will be further enhanced in the upcoming models developed on our Scalable Product Architecture,” says Broberg.
2014 IIHS ranking includes crash prevention
During 2013, IIHS extended its scope by introducing a new test program that rates the performance of front crash prevention systems. The Volvo S60, XC60 and S80 equipped with City Safety, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, and Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection were among the car models awarded a ‘Superior’ rating in the new test.
The crash prevention evaluation has now been incorporated into the 2014 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. This means the Volvo S60, XC60 and S80 are among the car models with a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating according to this extended scope.
Top score for Volvo auto brake systems in new Euro NCAP test
Euro NCAP has also introduced a test program covering auto brake technologies. The Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) tests focus on system performance and include car-to-car rear end collisions within two categories: City and Interurban.
The Volvo XC60 equipped with City Safety was among the top scorers in the City category. The AEB program will be integrated into Euro NCAP’s rating program during 2014.
“We welcome that the major rating institutes are now beginning to integrate collision avoiding technologies into their test programs. This gives consumers a better insight into the advantages of auto brake systems. It will also drive the implementation of these technologies through the vehicle fleet,” says Broberg.
V60 Plug-in Hybrid safest electrified car in Euro NCAP
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid also holds on to the highest ever Euro NCAP score for an electrified car. The five stars in the 2012 test, which included a frontal offset collision at 64 km/h (40 mph), demonstrate that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid has the same high safety level as the standard V60.
One million cars with auto brake
Currently all new Volvos except XC90 come with City Safety offered as standard. Most Volvo models are also available with state-of-the-art technologies that detect and brake automatically for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. In July, sales of Volvo cars equipped with these systems for automatic braking passed the 1 million mark – another milestone that confirms Volvo Cars’ world-leading position in automotive safety.
“Several reports have stated that our groundbreaking auto braking technologies help reduce the risk of being involved in a rear-end accident by more than 20 percent,” says Broberg.
Outstanding ranking in Sweden
Volvo Car Group had an outstanding position in the Swedish insurance company Folksam’s 2013 safety report. Four Volvo models – the S60, V60, V70 and S80 – are at the top of the rankings with a 12 percent margin to the next car on the list. The Volvo S60, V60, V70 and S80 are almost 60 percent safer than the average car in the report.
All models in Volvo’s current range are given a top safety recommendation by Folksam. To obtain this recommendation a car must be 40 percent safer than the average car.
“We are very proud of the result. The report is built on accident data and real traffic conditions, which have always been the starting-point for our safety work. We focus on areas where our new technologies create significant results in real-life-traffic,” says Broberg.
Volvo expert received special NHTSA award
Anders Eugensson, director government affairs and key safety strategist at Volvo Cars, was presented with a U.S. Government Special Award of Appreciation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The award was handed out during the 23rd International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles in Seoul, South Korea.
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé:
Sophisticated capability and contemporary safety, inspired by modern sports equipment
The second of Volvo’s three concept cars is the new Volvo Concept XC Coupé. Inspired by the design of modern sports equipment and demonstrating the safety capabilities of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture, it is a sophisticated and capable car for people with an active lifestyle.
“Those who love gravity sports freely seek new thrills and challenges. To ensure that they make it back in one piece, they prefer high-performance equipment that offers the ultimate sense of freedom and protection,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.
“The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is perfectly in tune with this active lifestyle. Its capability and protection is cleverly integrated into the sophisticated looks. Concept XC Coupé is ready and willing to bring you into the adventure zone and back,” he adds.
Sleeker and safer at the same time
The three concept cars are designed to demonstrate vital elements of the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA): the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures.
“Concept XC Coupé also shows how clever engineering makes it possible for us to reinforce our world-leading safety without compromising design, size or weight. Thanks to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel and structures with new, ingenious decoupling, we can make SPA cars more compact and safer at the same time,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The two-door, four-seater Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection with its sibling, the Volvo Concept Coupé. However, the larger 21-inch wheels, the more accentuated wheel-arches and the taller roof line all contribute to a more robust impression and a fuller, capable look.
The extended distance between the dashboard and the front axle is still a very powerful visual element. The capable stance is emphasized by details such as the new bonnet and a belt line that spans an elegant bow along the length of the car.
High-tech sport gear
The connection with modern, high-tech sports gear is highly present in the concept car. Among the sources of inspiration for the design team is the Swedish company POC, which develops high-tech protective gear for gravity sports athletes.
“Several orange details and exterior graphics in combination with bold use of matte rubber mouldings, which cover the rear end of the car, add to the highly functional expression of the design,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
To strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality, the design team has also given traditional SUV elements, such as side mouldings and skid plates, a modern interpretation. They are more integrated into the sleek design, flush with the surrounding body areas.
T-shaped DRL lights
Just like Volvo Concept Coupé, the face of the Volvo Concept XC Coupé is characterized by a new topography on the bonnet and the ‘floating’ grille, flanked by headlights featuring new T-shaped DRL light guides. The rear light signature is also a distinctive element in the new design direction of Volvo Cars.
“Both concept cars show how we can shape our cars from now on. We add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
Building on a proud XC heritage
Volvo Cars paved the way for a completely new segment by introducing the V70 Cross Country in 1997. The range has been continuously developed and extended since then. Presently, it spans from the Volvo V40 Cross Country, via the XC60 and XC70, to the XC90.
“With the Volvo Concept XC Coupé, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The Thomas Ingenlath design direction, part II:
Turning functionality and contemporary safety into emotional experiences
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection to both an active outdoor lifestyle and Volvo Car Group's (Volvo Cars) aim to offer customers a world-class safety and support package.
“Enjoying a car with great power and capabilities, at the same time as you are safe and protected, gives a great feeling of joy and freedom,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
Your design direction is based on the core virtues of Scandinavian Design. What’s the connection to Volvo Concept XC Coupé?
“Outdoor activities are an important part of the Swedish lifestyle. Your leisure time is dedicated to enjoying life. And your Volvo must, of course, support this desire. Our XC models express this by blending expressive style, generous functionality, All Wheel Drive capability and world-class safety.
“We will continue to refine Volvo’s strong connection to outdoor activities with more emphasis on modern materials. It’s about making functionality an emotional experience. Just like high-tech sport gear, our cars will blend attractive design and sophistication with strength and intelligent capability.”
Can safety really be fun?
“Being protected is a good feeling. Having the right gear – in this case the car – builds peace of mind and confidence. This in turn enables you to fully enjoy your drive and your adventure.
“This is perfectly in harmony with our human-centric approach and exceptionally strong heritage. It is exciting to create a new design expression that supports established brand values as well as the repositioning towards a more emotional, distinctive premium brand.”
How does the aim to be a world-leader in safety affect you and the design team?
“The new architecture liberates both us and the engineers from the limitations of previous cross-brand platforms. SPA enables us to create the great proportions that are important to achieving a premium look. The engineers can solve the safety challenges with more extensive use of high-strength boron steel and a new ingenious electrical architecture.”
Which are the most prominent new design signatures?
“Every strong brand needs a set of visual keys that makes it unique. Future Volvos will be characterized by the distinctive iron mark in the floating grille, flanked by the T-shaped DRL lights. The larger bonnet with its new topography, the belt line spanning an elegant bow along the length of the car and the sharpened shoulder connecting with the new rear light are other important design signatures. They all contribute to the confident stance. The overall simplicity, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the Scandinavian lifestyle.”
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé today, the all-new XC90 in 2014. How similar are they?
“The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is another demonstration of what our new architecture is capable of. It brings us a bit closer to the all-new XC90. But it goes without saying that a three-row, seven-seater will have a larger and fuller look than this four-seater. Volvo Concept XC Coupé is more of a Cross Country version of a sleek sports wagon.”