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The all-new Volvo V40 – Volvo Sensus: New, personalised instrument cluster

6 March 2012

An uncomplicated driver experience is a key factor in the continuous development of the high-tech Volvo Sensus infotainment system.

In the Volvo V40, the driver-centric approach is enhanced with a new, fully graphic instrument cluster that allows the driver to personalise instrument layout and the information provided.

The connectivity features include a mobile application that keeps the driver in touch with the car when it is parked.

Fully graphic display
The V40 is available with a new, fully graphic instrument cluster. This active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display brings the interaction between car and driver into a new dimension.

The instrument cluster expresses emotional functionality, always displaying the most important information in any given situation right in front of the driver.

The driver can choose between three graphic themes:

The Elegance theme has amber illumination that creates a traditional and calm aura.

The Eco theme features green background illumination, designed to create an environmentally inspired look. An Eco meter is displayed on the left. The current and accumulated fuel consumption figures are displayed - and the driver is rewarded with a green light when eco-driving is optimal.

The Performance theme has red background illumination, creating a sporty atmosphere. In the centre a tachometer scale replaces the speed scale displayed in the Elegance and Eco versions. Vehicle speed is shown digitally in the centre of the display. The right display includes a power meter - a gauge that informs the driver how much power is available and how much power is being used at any given moment in time.

The Standard Line cluster is a refined version of the traditional instrument cluster. The gauges are electro-mechanical with indicator needles.

In control via the steering wheel
In Volvo Sensus, all information is presented on a five-inch or seven-inch colour screen in the upper part of the instrument panel. The integrated screen makes it easy for the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.

All the functions can be operated from the steering wheel or via controls located directly below the colour screen. In addition there is a separate remote control.

"My Car" offers access to a wide range of settings, such as for City Safety, Collision Warning, Pedestrian Detection, Driver Alert System, Active Cruise Control, lighting, door mirrors, climate unit, central locking and audio system.

If the customer chooses a multimedia audio system, Volvo Sensus comes upgraded with the larger seven-inch screen that also displays information and images from the navigation system, phone, reversing camera, DVD player, digital TV and so on.

Bluetooth with music streaming
The Bluetooth connection has been upgraded to allow not only hands-free phone conversations but also music streaming from your preferred Bluetooth-enabled portable music player. Volvo is actually the only brand to offer Bluetooth music streaming throughout the entire vehicle range. Integrated navigation with voice commands is available as an option.

Electronic Climate Control
The all-new V40 is available with Electronic Climate Control. The system provides automatically controlled interior temperature and ventilation with individual settings for the driver and front seat passenger.

The windscreen, rear window and door mirrors are automatically heated at temperatures below +9°C. The driver chooses the auto function in My Car mode.

Navigation turn-by-turn
The optional navigation system is integrated into Volvo Sensus. The voice control function allows safe and convenient handsfree use. A new feature is the turn-by-turn guidance, which is presented to the driver in the instrument cluster's centre dial.

World-class audio experience
The most advanced audio unit has a class D digital 5x130W amplifier, Dolby Digital in combination with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, the latest MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories and 10 loudspeakers.

The market-leading MultEQ technology from Audyssey Laboratories eliminates the distortion that might otherwise be caused by the passenger compartment's particular acoustic properties. The result is crisper and clearer sound for everyone in the car.

Dolby Digital provides a more distinct surround-sound audio experience from Dolby Digital soundtracks. The result is perfect concert quality when listening to live-recorded music. Of course the system also features Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, which transforms ordinary stereo content into rich, full-range surround sound.

The audio experience can be optimised in three different ways - for the best possible enjoyment in the driver's seat, the two front seats or the rear seat.

Premium Sound can play DVDs, CDs and USBs with music in MP3, AAC or WMA format as well as AVI and Video Div-X. The system also includes Bluetooth capability (A2DP).

In addition to the top-of-the-line Premium Sound Multimedia four other audio systems are available:

  • Performance, 4-speaker system
  • Performance, 6-speaker system
  • High Performance, 8-speaker system
  • High Performance Multimedia, 8-speaker system

For hooking up other equipment such as a portable MP3 player, iPod (from Generation 3), iPod Touch or iPhone, all the audio systems now feature an AUX (Performance) or USB connection as standard.

From the High Performance Multimedia level, USB also supports Video Div-X.

Mobile app with a wide range of features
The owner of an all-new Volvo V40 can use a mobile application to stay in touch with the parked car via a smart phone. The mobile application is an extension of Volvo On Call, which originally focused on direct access to a call centre in the event of an accident or other emergency.

The mobile app, which is free and downloaded via the application stores, is designed to offer the owner an intuitive, easy-to-use relationship with the car from a distance. It includes a number of features:

  • Car locator. The location of the car is shown on a map. There is also a digital compass that points the driver in the right direction
  • Remote door lock. The status of all doors and windows is displayed - and the driver can lock and unlock the car with a push on the touch screen
  • Remote heater start. If the car is equipped with a parking heater, it can be started or timer-programmed via the mobile app
  • Vehicle dashboard. This feature gives the driver access to a wide range of information: fuel level, remaining range to empty tank, average fuel consumption, average speed, odometer reading and trip meter reading
  • Car check. The mobile app performs a "health" check of the car; displaying information about lights, brake fluid level, coolant level, oil level and oil pressure
  • Driving journal. Detailed data of each trip during the last 40 days can be downloaded and stored. It is also possible to extract the data as an Excel file - a perfect feature for company car owners
  • Vehicle information. Basic car data such as model, registration number and VIN number are stored and can be displayed
  • Theft notification. If the car alarm is triggered, the driver is alerted via the mobile app

This upgraded Volvo On Call facility still includes all the safety and security aspects that were part of the first generation.


Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO Volvo Car Corporation:

"The all-new V40 has the most intuitive driver interface ever in a Volvo. We believe that the ultimate luxury is to own a car that fits you, understands you and evolves together with you. You jump in behind the wheel for the first time. You take a look at the dashboard - and you find everything so functional and obvious that you are ready to take off directly."

"We design cars around people's needs and lifestyle. Creating an intuitive and ergonomically optimised driver's environment is part of our aim to offer a feeling of relaxed control. It is only logical that you should feel in command of your vehicle even after you have parked it."

Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development Volvo Car Corporation:

"We have focused firmly on creating a solution that is easy to handle and that does not distract the driver from focusing on the road. Volvo is one of the few manufacturers to give the driver access to all infotainment functions via controls in the steering wheel. Our aim is that a high percentage of users will be able to handle these functions without having to use the owner's manual."

"The new mobile application transforms Volvo On Call from an emergency system into a useful convenience feature. We are convinced that our ambitious plans in this connectivity field will help us attract more and more new customers in the future."

Related articles:

The all-new Volvo V40
The all-new Volvo V40 – Market
The all-new Volvo V40 – Design
The all-new Volvo V40 – Driving Dynamics
The all-new Volvo V40 – Safety and Support
The all-new Volvo V40 – Volvo Sensus

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