Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Volvo YCC or the Volvo « Your Concept Car » was a concept car presented in 2004 with the stated goal of meeting the particular needs of women drivers. In order to do so Volvo assembled a design team entirely made up of women, some time in the Fall of 2001. It was a major exercice in ergonomics, focused on the female gender. Those who were involved during the several stages of the project were: Maria Widell Christiansen, Eva-Lisa Andersson, Elna Holmberg, Maria Uggla, Camilla Palmertz, Cynthia Charwick, Anna Rosén, Lena Ekelund and Tatiana Butovitsch Temm.
On the outside the car looked, at first glance, like a mildly futuristic four seat coupe. On closer inspection one could see that there was no hood, that is no access panel permitting access to the car’s engine. Engine maintenance required taking out the whole front end of the car body, preferably in some establishment with the required space and equipment. This was not supposed to happen often: The engine was designed to need an oil change only after 50,000 km (32,000 miles) and to automatically send a radio message to a garage a short time before any required maintenance. Filling the windshield washer tank was done by a capless ball valve, right next to the capless gas tank ball valve. Volvo surveys had found (among many other things) that lady drivers considered caps to be a major nuisance.
The car featured run-flat tires, like those of wheeled armoured vehicles, in order to be able to drive all the way to a garage after a puncture and thus avoid having to change a tire by the side of the road
Entry into the car was by the means of two Gull-wing doors on the sides. It also had an upwards opening hatchback door giving access to the trunk and cargo area. All three doors were motorized for a sensor-based “keyless” entry. Pressing on a single button on the keychain automatically opened the nearest door, making it easy for somebody holding bags of groceries or other sundries to get the things in the car without putting anything on the pavement or the sidewalk.
The interior was maximized for easy storage and good looks. All of the textile panels or textile parts such as the seat pads or the door sides could be removed easily to change the color schemes and vary textures. The head rests had indentations to accommodate pony tails. The shifting column and the hand brake were removed from the center console to give the front seat passengers easier access to the large storage compartments located within the dashboard. The rear seat could fold up, as in some movie houses and theaters or as is the case with the jump seat of some planes and limousines, making it easy for the driver to get a fairly big item in the car without opening the hatchback.
Finally, the Volvo YCC's engine is a low-emission, gas-electric hybrid which provides power along with environmental safety.
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