S90 Ambience Concept – an industry-first sensory experience inside the car

As a driver, you probably spend long periods of time inside the car each day, made longer when there’s a jam or heavy rain. If you have a passenger or passengers, they too go through the same experience except that they are probably less bored since they can spend the time on their iPad or phone. With the S90 Ambience Concept by Volvo, they will be able to have enjoy an industry-first sensory experience that synchronises visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.

The S90 Ambience Concept is based on Volvo’s S90 Excellence executive sedan and focuses on chauffeured passengers in the rear seat. The passengers can personalise the car’s atmosphere by using the intuitive smartphone app to choose one of seven visual themes synchronised with audio and scent.

“The Ambience Concept redefines luxury by taking it beyond material choices, creating a car that connects with your senses,” said Robin Page, Head of Design at Volvo Cars. “The design explores how people feel inside the car and enables them to influence their own mood and well-being.”

The visual element transforms the car ceiling according to the selected theme – including Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago and Rain – each providing a different mood scaling from relaxing to invigorating. There is also a Nocturnal theme for resting and Freedom gives a boost of fresh and uplifting energy.

The synchronised audio plays through the car’s Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system, which includes small tweeters in the headrest for an immersive sound experience. Each theme is matched with one of four bespoke scents, created by Byredo, which deploys simultaneously from a portal in the centre console.

“We’re known for our human-centric approach to design and as an industry leader in advanced safety technology,” Page said. “Ambience reinforces this and shows our broader focus on human care, which starts with safety and also extends to general well-being.”

For now, the S90 Ambience is a concept but the company intends to make it available in production cars, especially in China, Volvo’s largest single market (and also the home country of its owner).

“The Ambience Concept was created primarily for the China market and provides a contrast to China’s sometimes hectic city environments,” said Martin Andersson, Senior Commercial Product Manager at Volvo Cars’ Special Vehicles department. “It will reinforce our premium brand values in this important region.”

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[Chips Yap]