Volvo VESC

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Volvo VESC

Volvo VESC, the Volvo Experimental Safety Car was a concept car made by Volvo in 1972 to showcase a number of innovative passenger safety features.

History[edit]

In the late 1960s, Volvo had a first project with a focus on passenger safety called P1560, which resulted in a few different prototype models being made. The project was canceled in 1971, partly because of uncertainties about future safety rules - especially in the United States.

The following project was oriented along the contemporary Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESV) projects of US car companies. Using a V-8 engine, it would be significantly larger than previous Volvo models. The plan called for 10 prototypes, as a number had already been built into a new car model that would complement the 140 series and become a replacement for Volvo 164.[clarification needed] This project was also canceled, but a lot of the design and the already finished prototypes were used for the VESC project.

Safety Concepts[edit]

The 5520 mm long car was designed for surviving a frontal collision at 80 km/h: The front bumper area was made particularly long; in the case of a collision, the engine would be forced down under the cabin floor by a suitably shaped and reinforced firewall; a spring would pull the steering column into the dashboard (this has since become standard, but in those times it was still common for the driver to be injured getting caught between the wheel and the seat); at the back of the front seats were large cushions to protect rear seat passengers. For resilience against a side collision the car had strong reinforcements and crumple zones in the doors. VESC would cope with a roof roof before reaching 2.4 m height without pushing more than 75 mm.[clarification needed] The headrests were folded into the seats and folded upwards

Other features of the Volvo VESC were anti-lock brakes, back-up warning signal, warning lights in the doors and a precursor to the rearview cameras available today. Different versions of the prototype were differently equipped, some included airbags.

Outcome[edit]

Much of the car - especially the front - heavily influenced the upcoming 200 series, launched in 1974.

A Volvo VESC is on display at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg.

References[edit]