March 3, 2004
Volvo shows YCC (Your Concept Car) designed by women
Geneva, Switzerland – The Volvo “Your Concept Car” (YCC), a concept vehicle that was designed and developed entirely by women, made its world debut at the international auto show in Geneva, Switzerland.
In development for a year, the YCC’s most startling features include gull-wing doors with easy entry and exit, a low front and long rear window for maximum visibility, and a unique technology that tailors the car to the driver’s size. The exterior design is reminiscent of the Volvo P1800.
The idea of a car created entirely by women came out of a series of workshops hosted by Volvo in 2001. Marti Barletta, an American expert on female consumer patterns, started Volvo down the path toward the YCC with this statement: “If you meet the expectations of women, you’ll exceed the expectations of men.”
Her idea propelled the formation of an all-woman team to direct the development of the new concept car that would translate the vision of female designers, engineers and other professionals into a stylish coupe with a particular point of view.
Volvo research has shown female customers in the premium segment want everything men want in terms of performance, prestige and style. But they want more, including smart storage solutions, easy entry and exit, good visibility, minimum maintenance, easy parking and a car they can personalize.
For example, YCC designers determined the best place for keeping all the things you want on hand in the car is between the front seats. But that is where you normally find the gear lever and handbrake. “So we moved them,” says Cindy Charwick, who designed the YCC interior. “In the YCC, there are gear levers by the steering wheel, and the parking brake is electronic and integrated.”
This, notes Charwick, freed up space for storage in the centre console, including a shallow compartment for keys, mobile phones, coins and other small items. This compartment slides back to reveal a deeper one, big enough for a handbag. Another one takes a notebook computer, and there is a cool-box within reach of the driver’s seat. A wastepaper basket completes the theme of sheer convenience.
“Most of our target group said they carry a bag in the rear seat far more often than passengers,” adds Palmertz. That’s why YCC’s rear seats resemble cinema seats – folded up out of the way. This frees up large amounts of luggage space in the rear seat. Passengers simply lower the seat as they get in.
Easy access to the car interior and easy loading were also high on the list of what the target group wanted. When the gull-wing door opens, the drop-down sill below it opens down out of the way. The automatic ride height is returned to