At the GIMS 1972, Volvo unveiled the concept car VESC (Volvo Experimental Safety Car). From a design viewpoint, the VESC hinted at the design language of the forthcoming Volvo 240, launched in 1974 and later became Volvo’s longest-lasting model ever (19 years, ca. 2.9 million cars produced).
But what caused a sensation at the GIMS 1972 was that the Volvo VESC was equipped with more than 20 of the most innovative safety systems that were so far ahead of their time that they were almost utopian. The VESC also set the standards in terms of environmental issues too.
The VESC project clearly demonstrated Volvo’s determination to continuously improve car safety. Most of the safety features and design principles of the VESC were subsequently introduced in Volvo models and are now standard in all car production.
The Volvo VESC also broke new ground in pollution control. Its B20 4-cylinder fuel injection engine had an early version of a system similar to the current EGR and catalytic converter. These technological advances led to the introduction of catalytic converter and Lambda sensors in Volvo models from 1976. This technology became standard in car manufacturing almost 15 years later.