Vehicle designs of the future will take into account the evolving demands of our modern lifestyle – including how to stop your bag of takeaways from spilling on your front seat, according to a leading car maker.
Volvo’s New Zealand general manager Coby Duggan says their recent global research into how motorists use their cars has provided a number of insights which are being integrated into upcoming vehicle designs.
“One of the key out-takes from the research was a better understanding of the universal issues faced by drivers when it came to storing items associated with today’s lifestyle.
“No matter what part of the world they came from, motorists all needed to address issues like having mobile devices sliding around in the mid-console, takeaway bags at constant risk of falling over and fumbling to take petrol cards out of their wallets.
“The underlying issue is a lack of suitable and functional storage space inside their car,” he says.
Duggan says a new approach to vehicle design will seek to address these issues as well as a range of others.
“A shortage of suitable storage spaces in areas like doors can be particularly noticeable in smaller SUVs.
“Volvo’s first entry into this compact SUV space will be the XC40 and it will be clear to drivers that all elements of the vehicle’s spatial design will incorporate the latest customer research with the designers choosing a completely new approach .
He says by moving speakers from the door and developing a world-first, air-ventilated sub-woofer, Volvo created enough storage in the XC40’s door compartment for a laptop and a tablet, or a couple of water bottles.
“The designers wanted to ensure that in additional to aesthetic considerations, the vehicle’s features remained usable in the way they were intended – so that cup-holders can be used as cup-holders – and that the design itself provides separate areas for storing coins, cards or charging cables.
“Another area of focus was developing usable space for phones which offers wireless charging as well as the option for USB ports,” he says.
Duggan says a small fold-away hook has been added to the glove compartment, allowing drivers to secure small shopping or takeaway bags.
The XC40 will also offer slots for credit and service cards that can be neatly inserted into the dashboard, making them readily available when needed. In the tunnel console, under the armrest, there is a large storage area with room for a tissue box. A special, removable bin allows you to discard and quickly get rid of waste.
“In the boot a smart floor system has been added which can fold and separate your luggage and allows you to use the entire load space without removing the floor from the car. The rear-seat electronic folding mechanism gives you a flat loading floor at the touch of a button,” says Duggan.
The XC40 includes a fold-up boot divider with two hooks to help secure shopping bags or other luggage. A private locking storage compartment is also available under the load floor.
The XC40 SUV will be launched in New Zealand in Q2 2018.