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Beijing show: Volvo reveals three-seat S90 Ambience
Volvo S90 swaps five seats for three with luxurious, China-focused Ambience Concept
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24 Apr 2018
VOLVO Cars has elevated its three-seat S90 Excellence large sedan to another level with the reveal of the luxurious, China-focused Ambience Concept ahead of this week’s Beijing motor show.
Like the S90 Excellence before it, the Ambience Concept eschews the regular S90’s five-seat layout in favour of a three-seat set-up, which offers one rear passenger unrivalled amounts of legroom thanks to the removal of the corresponding front seat.
However, the Ambience Concept differentiates itself from the S90 Excellence with its visual, audio and scent experience that aims to reset the luxury benchmark, according to Volvo Cars senior vice-president of design Robin Page.
“The Ambience Concept redefines luxury by taking it beyond material choices, creating a car that connects with your senses,” he said. “The design explores how people feel inside the car and enables them to influence their own mood and well-being.
“We’re known for our human-centric approach to design and as an industry leader in advanced safety technology. Ambience reinforces this and shows our broader focus on human care, which starts with safety and also extends to general well-being.”
Specifically, the Ambience Concept allows passenger to choose between seven visual themes synchronised with audio and scent, including Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago, Rain, Nocturnal and Freedom.
Theme selections can be made via a smartphone application, with these projecting associated visual effects onto the Ambience Concept’s ceiling. For example, Nocturnal creates a restful environment, while Freedom boosts the mood with “fresh and uplifting energy”.
In conjunction, synchronised audio is played through the Ambience Concept’s Bowers & Wilkins sound system, which has been expanded to include small tweeters in the headrest for an even more immersive audio experience.
Each theme is paired with one of four bespoke scents, which were created by Swedish luxury house Byredo and are deployed simultaneously from a portal in the Ambience Concept’s centre console.
Aside from these changes, the Ambience Concept is a carbon copy of the S90 Excellence that was revealed at the 2016 Guangzhou motor show ahead of going on sale in China, Europe and North America in 2017.
Despite being launched as a show car, Volvo Car has plans to put the Ambience Concept into production, either as an option package or standalone variant for the S90 Excellence.
This future offering will specifically target the Chinese market, with the company selling more than 100,000 Volvo vehicles for the first time last year, making it the Swedish brand’s largest single market.
According to Volvo Cars special vehicles department senior commercial product manager Martin Andersson, the Ambience Concept will play an integral role in stimulating further growth in the largest new-vehicle market in the world.
“The Ambience Concept was created primarily for the China market and provides a contrast to China’s sometimes hectic city environments,” he said. “The S90 Ambience Concept will reinforce our premium brand values in this important region.”
As previously reported, the S90 Excellence’s key feature is its Lounge Console, which includes a fold-out tray table, a touchscreen infotainment system, an adjustable footrest, a heated and cooled cupholder, and a built-in refrigeration compartment.
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