Offering up a vehicle that coddles just one or two senses at the same time is so 20th century.
The Volvo S90 Ambience concept attempts to appeal to as many senses as possible. It's an interior concept that borrows its three-seat arrangement from the S90 Excellence, a long-wheelbase variant that eschews the front passenger seat in order to provide the VIP in back as much space as possible.
Passengers will have a choice from seven themes, each with a silly name like Northern Lights, Swan Lake or Archipelago, that are meant to convey different moods. When a certain theme is called up on the owner's app, a projector displays visuals on the headliner, while music that matches the intended mood plays through the speakers.
It also appeals to the passenger's nose. In addition to the audio and visual components, each theme is matched to one of four scents built into the vehicle's center console.
This may be a first for Volvo, but it's not one for the auto industry. Mercedes-Benz has what it calls Energizing Comfort, a system that links sights, sounds and scents. Unlike Volvo, Mercedes' version is and is meant to delight drivers or passengers, while Volvo's setup is really meant for the passenger alone.
Volvo intends to bring its concept to production and offer it on the S90 Excellence trim. It's debuting at Auto China in Beijing, because this is basically one big play to capture more of the high-end Chinese market -- VIPs out there are keen to buy long-wheelbase vehicles with a focus on chauffeured driving, and that's exactly what the S90 Excellence is.