When thinking of stylish cars, Volvo probably isn't the first brand to come to mind. One thing the company is renowned for, though, is introducing new technology: it was the first manufacturer to install laminated glass in a production car, invented the three-point safety belt, and is constantly adding new safety features to its range.
After holding a design competition for a pavilion to accompany the launch of its new V60 plug-in hybrid, the company will debut a photovoltaic accessory in September that will unite its history of embracing new technology with some cutting-edge style.
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Created by L.A.-based firm Synthesis Design + Architecture, the "Pure Tension" concept is essentially a giant solar panel that can recharge the Volvo V60's batteries. What's so special about it? It folds up to fit in the car's trunk.
The V60's batteries take around 12 hours to charge when connected to the Pure Tension pavilion, good weather permitting. The whole structure is held in place by a carbon fiber tube that keeps the panels taut, and also allows the pavilion to disassemble and fit into a car trunk.
Although these are renders, the Pure Tension will debut at a show in Rome in September. The concept cost around $80,000 to research, develop, and build, according to Wired.
A consumer-ready version isn't anywhere close, unfortunately. For now, the Pure Tension pavilion only serves to showcase Volvo's new hybrid car. Volvo is in talks with the designers of the pavilion about developing the idea further.
All images copyright Volvo / Synthesis Design + Architecture.