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The Volvo Concept Car That Killed Its Boxy Design For Good
Introduced at the 1992 Paris Motor Show, the Volvo Environmental Concept Car (ECC) sported something that would put an eventual end to the boxy style that had dominated Volvos — and many other brands — up until that point. In fact, the ECC was so special that then Head of Design Peter Horbury said it was “the car that allowed me to change Volvo forever.”
One of the things that made this concept car standout was that it was a hybrid vehicle, powered by a single electric engine that worked with a gas turbine; it had a range of 100 miles and just under 100 horsepower. However, what should have caught everyone’s attention were the ECC’s actual curves and departure from the stoic, boxy design of earlier Volvo models.
Although restyling in auto design takes time, the ECC proved to be an agent of change for the automaker and was credited with influencing the Volvo S80’s design in 1998. Not only does the S80 look similar to the ECC in many ways, but it’s the farthest thing from a boxy design that the company had ever released — and it marked the beginning of an entirely new design language.