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According to Ars Technica (This article and its images were originally posted on Ars Technica September 14, 2018 at 12:23PM.)
Because Volvo was only showing the 360c concept in Gothenburg, we elected to accept a paid flight and two nights in a hotel in Gothenburg in order to attend this event.
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN—Concept cars come in a range of different flavors. There’s the “you’ll be able to buy a slightly less stylish version of this” concept, meant to get the public ready for a new model that’s just months from sale. There’s the, “Hey look at us (and ignore our bland production cars)” concept, like the Chrysler Atlantic or Cadillac Sixteen. And then there’s the, “Let’s imagine 20 years off into the future” concept. Volvo’s latest, called 360c, is definitely one of the latter.
“This is an example of how new opportunities will open up with new technologies,” said Volvo CEO and President Håkan Samuelsson as we got our first glimpse of the 360c. It’s an optimistic reading of how Volvo thinks the company might evolve as electric propulsion, autonomous driving, and AI assistants make the process of getting from A to B much more multimodal.
Yes, the good old “office on wheels” idea is present and accounted for, but only as one of a number of possible configurations for the 360c. “Have we lost empathy for the traveler?” Samuelsson asked. “It’s not about squeezing more time into your work day.” So it’s also a sleeper car that could compete with short-haul air travel or regional rail travel, silently whisking you from Paris to Berlin overnight. Or, it can be a daytime version, perfect for some sightseeing along the way. Or, it’s even a VIP lounge on wheels, perfect for downing a bottle of something bubbly with friends on a night out.
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