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Imagine if a major automobile manufacturer created a car “designed for women” — replete with features meeting every stereotype in the book.  The features could include a hood you can’t open — why would you if you don’t even know how to change the oil?   Or how about mix-and-match upholstery which you can switch out on a whim?  And, while we’re at it, let’s end the need to learn how to parallel park and instead, just hit a button or two and voila! your car magically finds its way into the spot you can’t seem to wiggle your way into yourself.

A dream?  An offensive movie plot?  Nope:  A concept car from Volvo.  Meet YCC — “Your Concept Car” — a one-off design Volvo presented in 2002.

The YCC, pictured above with its gull-wing doors (!!) spread wide open, was designed “by women for women.”    It has a number of unique features besides those alluded to above such as cinema-style rear seating which only fold down when needed, as to allow for extra storage; and doors which open automatically by push of a button on your remote control (in case “you have a lot to carry”).

As for the more stereotype-friendly features?  Let’s check out quotes from the Volvo press release:

  • On who the car was designed for: “We wanted to keep the woman’s perspective all the way through,” says Hans-Olov Olsson. [Mr. Olsson was President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation at the time.]
  • On why the hood (“bonnet”) doesn’t open: “The only time I ever open my bonnet is when I need to fill up with windscreen washer fluid,” says Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, YCC Communications Manager. “So we asked ourselves whether you should have to open the bonnet just to do that. We realised that it could just as easily be done from the side of the car.”
  • On the easily-changed upholstery: “No need to trade in your car just because you have grown tired of its colour scheme!” says Maria Uggla, the Colour and Trim designer for the YCC.

More photos of the (award winning!) concept car are available here.  (Caveat emptor: Mood lighting and the amorous couple, as seen in the last photo, do not come standard.)  As the YCC is a concept car, it’s not available for purchase.

Bonus fact: “Volvo” is a Latin word meaning “I roll.”

From the Archives: Turkey and Chickens: Despite the title, it’s about automobiles.

Related: Apparently, there’s more to the Volvo/women story than the above… according to one author, at least.

Originally published

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