The Recharge Concept is a preview of what to expect from the future Volvo EV modelsby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 05:51
While some automakers are making switches to the future by plonking in electric powertrains to existing models, a few of them are revealing concepts to show what the future holds for them. Toyota unveiled the bZ4x concept last month and it gave us a preview of what the Japanese automaker’s future holds. Now, Volvo has given us a peek of what the Scandinavian design philosophy will look like.
Volvo has revealed the Concept Recharge in the form of a two-row SUV. At the onset, it sure looks futuristic. The Swedish automaker has retained the core aesthetic elements, like the Thor headlights, the prominent Volvo logo up front, etc. But, the question is – Can the automaker be a top dog in this paradigm shift?
2021 Volvo Concept Recharge
How Is The Concept Recharge On The Outside?
As Volvo puts it, the Concept Recharge is a “manifesto for the next generation of all-electric Volvos.” While the concept looks sharp on the outside, Volvo has followed a minimalistic theme here. The new ’less but better’ theme has removed all the stuff that Volvo considers unnecessary on the outside.
The Swedish automaker has noted that the first-gen of EVs share the same architecture as the fuel-powered models. The reason behind this is to house battery packs as well as internal combustion engines together, case in point: hybrid vehicles.
The pure EVs, which are touted as the second-gen of EVs in Volvo’s speak, will feature flat floors, extended wheelbase, shorter overhangs, and so on, as previewed on this Concept Recharge.
Up front, the grille is replaced with a closed ‘shield-like structure’ that bears the Volvo logo. The Thor headlights are retained, but are redesigned to differentiate them from the standard fuel-powered models.
They are said to feature a technology-enabled pure graphic that opens at night to reveal the main lamps.
This looks absolutely fantastic in action! We hope this makes it to production EVs.
At the rear, the Christmas-light setup is carried over, but with a slight twist. The slim LEDs have a graphic approach here, too, and look quite good. This sequential lighting isn’t as jaw-dropping as the headlights, but it’s still pretty cool. The lights are apparently imagined with a set of wings that extend at higher speeds to aid aerodynamics. A lot of other design factors like the lower hood, optimized roof profile, and repositioned A-pillars also aid with the aerodynamics. Also, the Volvo logo up front and the Volvo lettering on the tailgate are illuminated.
How Is The Concept Recharge On The Inside?
Thanks to the extended wheelbase, the Concept Recharge is quite spacious on the inside. This will be the norm for all upcoming Volvo EVs, and even electric vehicles in general. Since there is no internal combustion engine, automakers can extract a lot more space that’s utilized on the inside. As seen here, there is also a little cargo space between the seats in the front. Never been a fan of this, but it still shows how space can be utilized to the max.
The longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs also result in better storage space in the cargo area.
The designers and engineers have also repositioned the seats and lowered the hood so that the driver gets a high eye-point view of the outside. The front seats rendered in the concept are mounted on single stands that hint at swivel chairs being offered, and in extension, Level 5 autonomy, but we’ll reserve that discussion for later. The second row also has two bucket seats with an armrest in the middle. It’s also interesting how Volvo has highlighted the seatbelts, subtly putting across that Volvo EVs will also stand for safety. Oh, and did I mention the Concept Recharge showcases suicide doors?
On the tech front, the Concept Recharge features a 15-inch touchscreen system on the center console.
Details about the tech stuff here are still sparse, but the automaker could shed light on it in the future. What we do know, however, is that Volvo is investing in autonomous technology. Future Volvo cars will feature LiDAR sensors which are built by a company called Luminar. This is said to be a ‘critical part of Volvo Cars’ plan’.
Does Volvo Have Experience In the EV Segment?
The company hasn’t touched base on the powertrain and battery specs, and range for the Concept Recharge. From what it’s worth, Volvo isn’t known for offering an impeccable range. The automaker’s first pure EV, the XC40 Recharge, comes with an EPA-based estimated range of 208 miles. This isn’t very impressive for a compact SUV. The charging times are quick enough as it takes 40 minutes to recuperate around 80-percent of the battery.
As for the powertrain specs, The XC40 Recharge is powered by a couple of motors that churn out 402 horses and 486 pound-feet of torque combined, which help it propel to 60 mph from rest in 4.7 seconds. The Volvo XC40 Recharge starts at $53,990.
|Engine||2 e-motors, one on each axle|
|0 to 60 mph||4.7 seconds|
This is just a concept that previews what the future will hold. This doesn’t mean whatever’s showcased will make it to production. There’s no significant announcement the automaker has made about any upcoming EV models, but we hope to see it be more active in this regard.
What is the one thing you loved in this concept that you would like to see in production EVs? I’d pick the fancy headlights. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.