The 90s Were a Turning Point for Volvo Boxy Cars

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 4 min read
Volvo's environmental concept car (ECC) was powered by a hybrid drivetrain, and its construction, in part, was with recyclable materials. That was the case since sustainability was at the heart of the ECC, which became a turning point for
boxy cars
in the 90s
Before then, in 1976, Volvo cars introduced the lambda sound sensor that birthed the catalytic converter. The converter was the
emissions control
that reduced harmful exhaust pollutants by up to 90%.
Volvo featured a stoic box car design for almost two decades.

The ECC takes a new body design

After almost two decades of building stoic boxes, Volvo was ready to shift into a much curvier visual personality in the 1990s. That, in turn, marked an important turning point for the company. The automaker was also caught up in the era's zeitgeist, which was focusing on a tech-filled future.
Then, fewer automakers could deliver such technology, but it still dominated the concept car's landscape. That, in part, explains how Volvo delivered the ECC, an automobile that may appear familiar even to those who may not have seen it before.
The ECC was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1992, and it wowed the crowds. A hybrid drivetrain featuring a gas turbine powered the vehicle's single electric motor. Additionally, the automobile provided a decent dose of real-world driving capability and a useful 90 miles of battery range.
That was achievable, thanks to the automobile's engine capacity of just under 100 horsepower. According to
The Drive
, adding a live LCD traffic feed called Dynaguide to the ECC's cockpit milked the public's budding fascination with the information superhighway that was around the corner.
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Volvo's design changes forever

Understand that after the unveiling of the ECC and its new design, Volvo stopped producing boxy automobiles. It is interesting to discover that the true importance of the ECC was concealed in its digital connectivity and whizz-bang engineering.
That was the case since, at the Paris Stage, people were looking at what would transform Volvo's image from what it was to forward-thinking, but that was completely undisguised. Eventually, ECC's design language quickly and permanently changed Volvo.
Additionally, the arrival of Peter Horbury as the design director for Volvo in 1991 allowed the company to adopt a new design for its cars. So, it is safe to say that Horbury had an outsider's perspective on the Swedish company's automotive design. 

What can you expect from Volvo’s electric car concepts?

Volvo has already unveiled a new concept vehicle forecasting its all-electric future. The automobile was revealed during a "Tech Day" event. At the same time, the automaker announced an extensive roadmap to becoming an EV-only carmaker by 2030.
The car is known as "Concept Recharge" and features suicide doors opening up to a roomy interior. Internal combustion is also unavailable, which creates more space for passengers and the driver. 
On the exterior, the EV is sleek and is reminiscent of other EVs on the market like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, yet its appearance certainly evokes Tesla.
The automaker is also bringing software development in-house to speed up the deployment of new updates to its fleet or address bugs in the system.
VovloCars.OS will be the name of the new operating system, which will enable unsupervised driving on highways and power the company's next generation of EVs. Note that the new OS will serve as an "umbrella system" for all underlying systems that operate within the automobile.
These will include AUTOSAR, Android Automotive OS, Linux, and Blackberry's QNX. Moreover, Volvo mentioned that its new architecture would feature a core computer comprising two systems-on-a-chip provided by Nvidia. 
One will focus on semi-autonomous features and more advanced functions, while the other will prioritize core driving functions. All these confirm that a similar thing to Volvo's turning point in the 90s is happening with its EV concepts.
As EVs continue flocking the market, you may be one among the many considering purchasing one. In that case, you need to budget for insurance in advance. Since saving on auto coverage can considerably reduce your vehicle ownership and maintenance costs, you should consider signing up with
By doing so, you will access affordable automobile insurance rates to avoid unnecessary expenses.

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