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  Volvo YCC

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Country of origin:Sweden
Produced in:2004
Introduced at:2004 Geneva Motor Show
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe idea of an all-woman team making all the decisions in the development of a new concept car arose at Volvo in the autumn of 2001. Visiting Volvo at the time for a series of workshops was Marti Barletta, an American expert on female consumer patterns. In June 2002, Camilla Palmertz and a small group of colleagues were invited to present their idea to Hans-Olov Olsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. He greeted it with enthusiasm. Women form an increasingly important customer group for Volvo Cars. In the United States, 54 per cent of all Volvo buyers are women and the percentage of female customers in Europe is growing steadily too.

The project management team behind the YCC (Your Concept Car) 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.

Smart storage goes far beyond where to put your handbag - It is a question of what to do with your mobile phone, your keys, your notebook computer, your briefcase, your sports bag for the gym and so many other things we carry in our cars. 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. In the centre console, you find 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 compartment takes a notebook computer and there is a cool box within reach of the driver's seat too. A wastepaper basket completes the theme of sheer convenience.

Easy access to the car interior was high on the list of what the target group wanted. The YCC designers were happy to oblige. When the gull-wing door opens, the drop-down sill below it opens down out of the way, so you do not need to climb in over it. The ride height is automatically returned to Hi mode for door opening, a comfortable height for those getting in. For added space, the driver's seat moves back automatically and the steering wheel moves upwards. And the side bolsters on the driver's seat base are lowered out of the way so you can get in more easily, too. If you have a lot to carry, you can make the YCC open the door automatically when you reach it. You simply activate Auto-Open using the key before you pick up your bags, then, when you stand by the rear wheel, the relevant side door will be opened for you. If you go to the back of the car, the tailgate opens instead.

The YCC gives you all-round flexibility. You can choose the ride height - either Hi, if you like a commanding view of the road, or Lo, for a sportier feel. And you can radically change the look of the car interior whenever you feel like it. There are eight exchangeable seat pad options to choose from, everything from dark brown leather, linen and wool bouclé, to a shimmering yellow-green embroidered seat pad. Each of these has a matching carpet - also easy to swap over - for a whole range of styles inspired by home interior design.

Parallel parking assistance is a function both males and females requested. In the YCC, this is a two-stage system. When you need to park between two other cars, but first want to make sure there will be enough space, you press the parking assistance button once for the space-check function. If the system says yes, you can then select the Autopark function by pressing the same button again. The car helps you with the steering to manoeuvre you into the parking space, but you control the accelerator, brakes and gearshift. Autopark streamlines your parallel parking with flair.

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  Article Image gallery (12) Specifications User Comments (5)