Volvo unveils Concept You luxury sedan, dripping with touchscreens (video)

The Frankfurt Motor Show is underway in Germany, where Volvo has just taken the wraps off the Concept You -- a new luxury sedan that features some pretty nifty, touch-based controls. Directly behind the car's steering wheel lies a monitor that digitally displays your basic driving information, including speed and a map of your trajectory. The wheel also features some sensor enhanced panels, which you can use to adjust your radio or cruise control settings. A touch interface on the center console, meanwhile, uses an infrared sensor to pick up on any hand or eye movements before activating to bring up the system's infotainment control mode, which boasts an unreleased FreshAir subwoofer from Alpine. From here, you can surf the web, swipe through radio stations, check for safety alerts or control your air conditioning, using only your fingers or customized gestures. Plus, there's an extra touchscreen placed between the two rear seats, meaning your kids won't be left out of the action, either. Cruise past the break for an exclusive video of the Concept You's so-called smart pad technology, along with the full PR.

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Concept You from Volvo Cars: Touch control cockpit in the new Concept Car from Volvo

Volvo now takes the next bold step in the evolution of the company's next luxury car. The Concept You, revealed today at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, blends contemporary Scandinavian design and exquisite craftsmanship, with intuitive smart pad technology.

Concept You picks up where the Concept Universe, revealed at Auto Shanghai earlier this year, left off. It gives the global car buying public an exciting glimpse of the craftsmanship and innovative technology that will be the hallmark of future Volvos.

Touch control cockpit with intuitive smart pad technology
"The Concept You explores new territories in our search for the ultimate intuitive car. Smart phones and smart pads have brought mobile infotainment into a new era. Here, we use a number of touch screens to replace buttons and controls in order to make the driver totally connected, totally in control. The technology also helps us to create a refreshingly uncluttered interior," explains Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation.

The control centre in Concept You consists of four main areas; a digital Driver Information Monitor, a head-up display on the windscreen, a touch screen on the upper part of the centre console and a touch screen between the two individual rear seats. The wood/leather steering wheel has aluminium and glass paddles with integrated touch screens.

The touch screen in the upper part of the centre console remains in sleeping mode until the driver looks at it. A hidden infrared camera registers the eye movements and information is displayed on the screen. Another sensor registers hand movements and triggers the infotainment system's control mode. The possibilities are different depending on if the screen is approached by the driver or by the front seat passenger.

"Certain functions, such as surfing the web, are only accessible from the passenger side while the car is rolling. The technology knows who is the present operator and adapts itself automatically," says Peter Horbury.

The driver can "flip" data from the central touch screen to the head-up display – as well as exchanging data with the rear seat passengers.

Air-powered sound system cut weight by 90 percent
The infotainment system also integrates a high-end sound system from Alpine. It features the unique FreshAir subwoofer – a not yet released technology, co-developed with Blueprint Acoustics of Australia, that uses the air outside the car to create the ultimate listening experience. While a traditional subwoofer weighs 10-15 kilos, the FreshAir subwoofer weighs 1,5 kg, making the Concept You a more fuel-efficient car. With only 2W, the FreshAir subwoofer gives the same output as a 200W unit in a traditional system.

First-class craftsmanship
With a striking interior, Concept You offers luxury sedan customers to experience true craftsmanship and Scandinavian design at its best. The four individual seats, blend chrome-free leather from Bridge of Wear with Dinamica ecological suede. The interior also integrates the luxury
qualities of a tailor made suit into the car. The back of the front seats and the door panels feature exclusive Italian fabric and designs from the Swedish fashion house Oscar Jacobson.

The wooden floor, that echoes Scandinavian homes, is covered with a specially designed, hand tufted carpet from the world-famous Swedish brand Kasthall. The front texture has a sporty firmness, while the rear part of the carpet is luxuriously soft.

Inspiration from Georg Jensen
The Concept You is Volvo's largest and most luxurious sedan ever. Its fast and sculptural silhouette is emphasised by the liquid metal paint, and the 21-inch polished aluminium wheels with tyres from Pirelli. Up front, the grille – which has a more classic appearance than the Concept Universe – features details with the same, beautifully polished craftsmanship.

"The design of the wheels, the grille and details in the innovative headlamps has been inspired by the exquisite works of the world-famous Danish design house Georg Jensen. Their precious items capture the essence of Scandinavian design. Uncluttered, organic surfaces and superb craftsmanship that radiate timeless luxury. This design should feel handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time," says Peter Horbury.