Among the brands pledging to go all-electric, some are just starting to dip their toes into the metaphorical pool. Others, though, like Volvo, are beginning to properly swim. Not only does Volvo have an electric vehicle sub-brand, Polestar, but it’s also begun rolling out EVs badged as Volvos. And recently, the Swedish automaker rolled out a concept car that it calls “a manifesto” for its future EVs: the Volvo Concept Recharge.
The Volvo Concept Recharge is a preview of electric Volvos to come…with suicide doors
Taking the form of a two-row SUV, the Volvo Concept Recharge is the brand’s way of demonstrating its upcoming EVs’ design language. In other words, all future electric Volvos will resemble and/or take inspiration from it in some way. And that doesn’t just apply to the Concept Recharge’s appearance, either.
As Car and Driver notes, Volvo’s current electric models, such as the XC40 Recharge, ride on platforms designed for internal combustion powertrains. But the brand’s working on a dedicated EV platform for its future products that will likely feature a floor-mounted battery pack. Many other EV companies, such as Rivian and Tesla, rely on this setup. And it’s a setup that the Volvo Concept Recharge takes advantage of with its design.
For example, the floor-mounted pack’s space demands mean the SUV’s wheels are pushed relatively far out. That gives the Volvo Concept Recharge extra interior space and a completely flat floor, Motor1 notes. And because the floor is relatively low, it means the electric Volvo concept can have a slopey, aerodynamic roof without causing headroom issues, MotorTrend explains. Plus, the lack of an engine in front means the hood is lower for better range and efficiency. Also, the seats are more spread out.
That being said, the Volvo Concept Recharge does share some design elements with the brand’s current cars. The ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED DRLs come immediately to mind, as do the vertical rear lighting elements. And the electric concept’s interior features the same minimalist design modern Volvos feature.
A new look isn’t the only thing the EV concept demonstrates, though
Speaking of the interior, it uses “natural and sustainable materials,” MT says, from the wood trim to the seat fabrics. It also features a relatively large heads-up display, a 15” center touchscreen, and a configurable digital gauge cluster. And not only are the seats mounted on pedestals for more legroom, but they also have built-in footrests.
The interior is also where the Volvo Concept Recharge shows off another brand hallmark: safety. For one, the rear captain’s chairs’ cushions can raise and lower to act like built-in child booster seats. And mounted on top of the windshield is a lidar sensor, one part of the concept’s 360° sensor suite. It’s part of Volvo’s planned Level 3 driver-assistance package, which should function like GM’s Super Cruise, MT says.
Will the Concept Recharge become a real production electric Volvo?
However, as noted earlier, elements of the Concept Recharge’s design will appear on future Volvo products. One of them, the lidar sensor, is already confirmed for the 2022 XC90 successor. Said successor will also likely closely resemble the Concept Recharge, Car and Driver muses.
At least in terms of design, then, Volvo’s electric future looks fairly sleek.
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