Your Concept Car – A Project with women in the driver’s seat
The female perspective was at the core of the YCC project from the outset and that was exactly the way Volvo Car Corporation wanted it to be. A concept car project started, inspired and managed by women. One in which women always had the final say.
The project management team behind the YCC consists of five women at Volvo Cars, who brought to the project a broad spectrum of experience in various automotive fields. The three chief designers are also women.
After a series of preliminary studies, the project was given the go-ahead by Volvo Cars Management Team in December 2002. The team’s brief was perfectly clear: a free hand to develop a concept car capable of winning the approval of that most demanding Volvo customer category of all – the independent female professional.
A Personal Living Room
The YCC was designed to suit the individual. Some of the interior benefits in the YCC are:
-easy to get in and out of -airy interior characterised by an extreme sense of space -everything within reach -multi-purpose storage -light interior with subtle materials -more a living room than a lounge or a cockpit, with modern furnishing fabrics -choice of eight upholstery and carpet styles, easily switched to match mood, season or trends
When the gull-wing door opens up, the door sill rotates down, making it easier for driver and passengers to get in and out of the car. The drop-down sill has a dual function (besides allowing a smaller wing span for the gull-wing door): it makes for easier entry and exit and it also presents a clean interior surface. No risk of brushing against exterior surfaces.
Inside the car too, interior designer Cindy Charwick wanted to improve access and comfort for the driver. When you get into the car, the side support in the seat will have been lowered for you. The whole seat will also be in its lowest and furthest-back position and both steering wheel and car body will be raised. All these settings add up to maximum freedom of movement before you close the door. Then the side supports in the seat will return to their comfortable, cocooning driving position.
The YCC is packed with smart technology, but the technology has not been allowed to complicate matters for the driver. So the instrument panel is clean cut, simple and restrained. All non-essentials have been removed – what you see is your speed, how far you can drive before you need to refuel and how to find your way. In other words, a speedometer, a distance indicator and a navigation system.
The YCC has storage options in new places. Moving the gear levers up by the steering wheel and making the electronic parking brake automatic has freed up all the space between the front seats. An ideal place for keeping things during a journey.
Spaciousness and light are the key impressions conveyed by the interior. Sitting in the YCC, you get a strong sense of being in a living room. The colour and trim is strongly influenced by home interior design. A range of eight seat pad options with matching carpets means that the owner can decorate the car to match personal taste. Swapping them over is quick and easy and they are easy to care for. Some are machine washable, others dry clean only. A range so wide that everyone can find a personal favourite.
An excellent view from the driver’s seat was high on YCC wish-lists. In many cars, it can be difficult to see to all four corners. This can make a car hard to park or to pilot through tight spots. But in the YCC it is easy to see where the car starts and where it ends, because the front end is low, the fenders have been brought into sight and the traditional Volvo V on the bonnet section has been inverted.
The head- and tail-lights are important elements of the YCC’s styling. The headlights are lenses of transparent thermoplastic which project the light from banks of LEDs. The effect is that of light emanating from a block of ice. No bulbs or LEDs visible, just light.
Engine and transmission
The YCC is prepared for a low-emission 215 bhp, five-cylinder PZEV engine with an Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG). This, like other Volvo PZEV engines, complies with the toughest emission standards in certain American green states such as California.
ISG has several advantages. It prevents unnecessary idling because the engine can be shut off automatically when waiting at places like traffic lights. It comes to life again as soon as the driver presses the accelerator. It also provides extra torque at low revs, which means maximum power right from the start. And the ISG provides a 60 V power supply, giving scope for even greater user convenience.
The YCC has a six-speed Powershift gearbox. You can either choose the fully automatic mode, or use the controls on the steering column to change gear.
Powershift means that the car in effect has dual wet-clutch transmission technology, ensuring that your gear changes are always at the right revs. This makes for smooth driving and lower fuel consumption.
152.9 kw / 205.0 bhp
f brake size
mm / in
r brake size
mm / in
Story by Volvo Car Corporation, edited by Supercars.net