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Volvo 3CC One Piece Carbon Fibre Prototype Provides Glimpse of Future

15 October 2004

Volvo Car Corporation is rewriting the rulebook on how it will use its cars in the future with its 3CC prototype being unveiled to the public for the first time at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai

The Volvo 3CC, featuring composite technology, is the brainchild of the designers, engineers and business people at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre think-tank in California. Their task was to create a `future-proof concept´ that would enhance sustainable mobility. A car not only fuel-efficient, versatile, comfortable, and safe, but also exciting to drive and look at.

“We want to connect in a positive way with consumers so that they say ‘I want to be seen in this car’,” Lars Erik Lundin explains. “We want to add emotional value to people’s lives by offering an environmentally compatible car that appeals to all the senses, and which people want to drive.”

But Volvo Car Corporation's aim was not just to make the 3CC look good – they also wanted to deliver on overall sustainable mobility goals by providing excellent efficiency. Volvo has achieved this objective through good aerodynamics on a compact footprint, lightweight body materials, and an electric powertrain.

Volvo opted to give the Volvo 3CC a high strength steel space frame, composite sandwich floor panels for safety and light weight and an outer body which is a bonded one piece carbon fibre shell. The resulting chassis rigidity together with its innovative suspension give the car great handling characteristics.

“The double floor used to house the electric energy storage makes the concept future-proof in that the layout can be adapted for the most appropriate powertrain in the future, whether it be petrol, diesel, biogas, or hybrid electric,” explains Ichiro Sugioka, Science Officer at VMCC in California. ""In Shanghai, we are demonstrating the electric powertrain, one of the most challenging to package into a vehicle, to highlight its potential where there is abundance of renewable energy that can be converted to electricity.""

Meticulous wind tunnel tests resulted in an enhanced aerodynamic efficiency that is 30% better than the new S40 sedan.

“Rather than refining existing cars and technologies for new markets, Volvo has listened, questioned and speculated about the future and developed this all new concept,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President of Brand, Product & Business Strategy. “We think the Volvo 3CC opens a door into that future and we will develop the concept further.”






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