Volvo Cars has become the
first premium car maker to purchase the world’s most advanced Vi-Grade chassis
simulator – the same equipment used by Ferrari and Porsche – to develop next
The simulator offers exciting virtual
environments including Germany’s renowned Nürburgring as well as test tracks at
Volvo Cars’ own secret testing facility in Sweden. It allows Volvo Cars to
conduct extremely early stage development work on high speed stability, balance
and individual drive mode settings, leading to the development of cars that are
more responsive, more rewarding and even more enjoyable to drive.
“We are making substantial
investments in people, technology and facilities in order to redefine the Volvo
driving experience. Our aim is to deliver full control, ease and dexterity at
the wheel. We will improve drivability across the entire Volvo Cars range,”
said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at
The Swedish car maker uses the simulator’s
virtual environments to support early development work on high speed stability,
balance and individual drive mode settings. The use of simulation means that
settings can be rapidly tested combining the experiential judgment of a real
driver and computer-aided objective data analysis.
The move heralds a new
beginning for Volvo Cars in terms of driving experience, claims Dr Mertens,
noting that “We have made some critical investments both in terms of our
R&D facilities and in our product components in recent times that are now
beginning to pay dividends. Our completely new scalable product architecture
(SPA), our modular powertrain programme and the latest chassis components are
the starting point.”
The new simulator means more
freedom to innovate in the concept development phase and shorter development
time, according to Dr Mertens, enabling a more emotionally resonant driving
“The beauty of the new
simulator is that it provides us with the opportunity to physically experience
the calculation models and evaluate them using human test drivers, rather than
staring at graphs and numbers in a meeting room,” says Stefan Karlsson, Manager
Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Car Group, adding that “This is further testament to
our commitment to human centric development and a cornerstone of developing a
driving experience that is truly Designed Around You.”
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