HomeCar CultureRecharge concept car a ‘manifesto’ for Volvo

Recharge concept car a ‘manifesto’ for Volvo

Scandinavian brand going electric with ‘less but better’ philosophy


Volvo Cars says “electrification is more than simply a shift in powertrains. It represents a new paradigm in car design, and the Volvo Concept Recharge is a manifesto for the next generation of all-electric Volvos.”

Volvo revealed the concept vehicle saying it remains true to its heritage of Scandinavian design, of “less but better.”

“For example, by removing the complexity of the internal combustion engine, the designers have been able to evolve the car’s proportions to increase interior space while also improving aerodynamic efficiency. The result is a car that offers genuinely better solutions to support a sustainable family life.”

While the first generation of electric-powered Volvos was based on combustion-engine platforms, “The next generation of Volvo’s fully electric cars – the first of which is the company’s first SUV on a completely new electric-only technology base – will feature flat floors, as previewed in the Concept Recharge.

Volvo, Recharge concept car a ‘manifesto’ for Volvo, ClassicCars.com Journal
Volvo, Recharge concept car a ‘manifesto’ for Volvo, ClassicCars.com Journal

“By removing the engine and replacing it with a full battery pack under the flat floor, the designers have extended the wheelbase and the wheel size of the car. The result is shorter overhangs, as well as a lot more interior space, including a large storage area between the front seats.

“In the Concept Recharge these advancements have led designers to reposition the seats, optimize the roof profile and lower the bonnet of the car while retaining the high eye point beloved by drivers of cars such as the Volvo XC40, XC60 and XC90. This approach creates efficiency gains in aerodynamics compared with a typical SUV, which improves range.”

Volvo said Concept Recharge also introduces the company’s new design language. “Less but better” remains, but what stays “is treated with a high-precision, flush execution.”

For example, the old grille is replaced with a shield-style structure and new interpretation of Thor’s Hammer in headlamp design. At the rear, the vertical taillights are reimagined as a set of wings that extend at higher cruising speeds to enhance aerodynamics.

“Our Concept Recharge represents a manifesto for the all-electric future of Volvo Cars, as well as a new type of vehicle,” Volvo’s head of design, Robin Page, is quoted in the news release. “It displays new and modern proportions that go hand in hand with increased versatility and shows what technology can enable in terms of design.”

Volvo, Recharge concept car a ‘manifesto’ for Volvo, ClassicCars.com Journal

Inside the Concept Recharge, we create a truly Scandinavian living-room feeling,” Page added. “The interior integrates our latest user experience technology with beautiful, sustainable and natural materials. Each part of the interior is like a piece of art and could stand alone as individual furniture in a room. We use the latest technologies but not for their own sake. We always focus on the benefits that technologies can bring.”

The concept car also features Volvo’s ongoing commitment to safety, with LiDAR on the roof for connecting with other cars and the surrounding infrastructure for autonomous driving. 

“With the Concept Recharge, we continue the rich roots of Volvo’s design DNA in a modern and fresh way as we move into our all-electric future,” Page said. “It represents everything we believe customers expect from a pure electric Volvo and we’re excited to take this philosophy into our next generation of cars.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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