Volvo is currently showcasing the ‘Lounge Console’ within the new XC90 Excellence edition making its debut at the Shanghai motor show. The concept transforms the Swedish firm’s new SUV’s interior into an executive environment with amenities similar to those found in a high-end hotel room, minus the personal accessories.
“We started this work by looking at the executive lifestyle,” says Volvo Cars’ VP of Design Thomas Ingenlath “We analyzed the needs and perspective of the chauffeur driven executive, designing the car around him or her in the spirit of our brand’s aim.”
Combining Scandinavian form and function, the seating concept transforms the XC90’s interior by removing the front passenger seat and replacing it with the Lounge Console, which slides into the seat rails. The console includes a large work table that opens to reveal a storage tray for jewelry such as watches and cufflinks as well as an illuminated vanity mirror. The table rotates 90 degrees and simultaneously powers forward to display a large 17-inch media screen for those who wish to be connected while on the move, while the cabinet below the cushioned leg rest features a lockable storage box.
The console, finished in leather, light-toned wood and Volvo’s defining detailing created under the direction of interior design director Robin Page, the concept is deemed ‘perfect for people with a hectic life that need a moment of respite between meetings’.
While the removal of the front passenger seat allows greater forward vision, creating a uniquely spacious environment, Volvo’s designers also examined ethnographic research to establish the unexpressed and unmet needs of people with a high-profile lifestyle in the creation of the concept.
“A key element in our thinking was how to make the available interior space work for the occupants in an optimal and luxurious fashion,” adds Ingenlath. “Removing the passenger seat enabled us to create an open space that dramatically changes the dynamics of the interior and led to a firework of ideas and new possibilities.”
Watch the video above to hear Thomas Ingenlath and chief interior designer Tisha Johnson describe the benefits of the new concept, and see below for an animation complete with ambient lighting visualization.