Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Even by the 'anything-goes' standards of concept cars, this one is a head-spinner: the "Pure Tension" Volvo V60 Pavilion, commissioned by Volvo Italy and winner of the Pure Volvo Pavilion Design competition. The alien form seen hovering all over the rendered V60 is a pavilion, as in the kind erected for trade shows or outdoor events. Developed by Synthesis Design + Architecture, Buro Happold, and Fabric Images, the pavilion is a flexible mesh structure held in place by a carbon fiber rods.
What's more, the mesh is embedded with photovotaic cells so that the pavilion can absorb energy from the sun or indoor lighting, making it a portable charging station. It can power itself or the crossover, the V60 at the center of it all being a diesel hybrid that plugs straight into the pavilion. When it's time to go, the entire structure can be folded small enough to fit in the trunk of the car.
We're told it will be shown in September in Rome. Even if we never see this particular creation on the streets, it's comfortable proof that our future will eventually be wilder than we can imagine.
Things have been slow in Gothenburg the past few years, but they're picking up speed. The only new model Volvo has released in the past four years since it was taken over by Geely - that being the V40 introduced in 2012 - started its development when the company was still under Ford's umbrella. But now the Swedish automaker is preparing to launch a volley of new models, and the new XC90 is only the starting point.
Volvo has set out to align its product portfolio into three model families - 40, 60 and 90 - each with three body-styles: sedan, wagon and crossover. (Volvo presented a tidy little table, which we've replicated below, to outline what it has in store.) That means a new S40 sedan and XC40 crossover as well as a replacement for the current V40 wagon, all to be based on a new platform shared with Geely. It also means replacements for the current S60, V60 and XC60 to be based on the modular SPA platform that underpins the new XC90, as well as a new S90 sedan to replace the S80 and a new V90 wagon to succeed the V70 and move it up-market above the V60.
All of these models are set to arrive within the next four years as Volvo moves to replace its entire lineup by 2019 and subsequently move to more competitive seven-to-eight-year product life-cycles. But as aggressively as Volvo is pursuing this renewal of its core models, they're not the only things Gothenburg has in store. Keep reading below to learn how Volvo's model line will flesh out over the coming years.
The expansion of the factory is part of an $11-billion investment Volvo's Chinese owners, Geely, are making.
Volvo Cars is adding 1,300 new jobs and ramping up production at its factory in Gothenburg, Sweden, in response to increased consumer demand for its vehicles.