Volvo’s (VOLVY.PK) vehicles have long had a reputation for being safe, heavy, practical, and sometimes cumbersome, but every now and then, the company has produced a truly beautiful car that defies the public’s perception of the brand. That’s the case with the latest estate car concept, the third and final member of a new set of concept vehicles that Volvo has been presenting that reveal some insights into Volvo’s future designs.
Known as the Volvo Concept Estate, the last member of the trinity joins the Volvo Concept Coupe and the Volvo Concept XC Coupe. Like the two previous models, the Concept Estate features two doors, T-inspired headlamps, and vertical taillights. The Estate Coupe makes no attempt at passing off as a crossover or SUV — it is unapologetically a wagon-hatchback design, with its low and slightly raked roofline and low, streamlined profile.
For those uninspired by Volvo’s current offerings, have hope: there is light at the end of the tunnel, if the production models look anything like what we see here. This car is stunning from nearly every angle, and after 10 years of looking at the same tired XC90 and XC70, the changes will be warmly welcomed.
The Concept Estate draws much of its design from the Concept Coupe, and that’s a good thing. It’s as if Volvo made a wagon version of the Coupe, which is essentially what the company did. Further, despite Volvo’s Chinese ownership under Geely, all the design work is still carried out in Sweden.
“Creativity is thriving in Swedish society. This includes design and technology as well as the fashion, music and arts. This inspired us to create a new, exciting way to express Sweden’s soul,” Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president of design at Volvo Car Group, said in the company’s statement.
If you’re thinking “Wow, that looks an awful lot like the Volvo 1800,” then you’d be right — Volvo’s iconic 1800 ES was the basis of inspiration for the new concept, and frankly, it’s about time the company returned to that part of its history. The low-slung hood, glass roof, and the new “floating” grille are all modern interpretations of Volvo’s classic cars.
No details on power were mentioned, sadly. Inside, though, the Estate is a blend of cutting-edge technology and craftsmanship, and a touch screen replaces the buttons, knobs, and switches that normally adorn a car’s dash. ”Not having to deal with buttons and controls for a growing number of functionalities is like being freed from a pair of handcuffs,” Volvo Design Director Interior Robin Page said.
The new design language will be featured when Volvo releases its new XC90 SUV later this year. As the first model to incorporate the new themes, it will be a crucial moment to determine what the future of Volvo’s vehicles will look like.