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Geneva show: Volvo’s sleek wagon concept revealed

Swede styling: Volvo has made the humble brown wagon an object of lust with its disarming Concept Estate, the third member of a trilogy of show cars.

Sexy wagon likely the final Volvo concept before production XC90 emerges


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27 Feb 2014

THE third and final member of Volvo’s promised trilogy of stunning show concepts has been outed online ahead of its world debut in Geneva next week.

Called the Concept Estate, the sexy three-door shooting-brake style wagon follows closely the Concept XC Coupe from last month’s Detroit motor show and the slinky Concept Coupe (a take on the 1960s P1800) from the Frankfurt show last September.

All three preview the design direction in which the Sweden-based, Chinese-owned car-maker wants to head from 2015. The first production car to embody this will be the long-overdue XC90 SUV, which will take a bow in Paris this September.

As the leaked images (courtesy of US website Jalopnik) show, Volvo has put a fetching spin on its classic wagon – the type of car for which it remains best-known – with a high waistline, boomerang tail-lights, marked haunches and the new family ‘face’.

The cues are broadly carried-over from its sister concepts, with each designed to show how Volvo’s new styling will work on various types of car: coupe, crossover and wagon. The trio were penned by a team led by new senior vice president of design Thomas Ingenlath.

But as Autocar points out, perhaps the most notable element of this concept is the largely production-ready instrument fascia, providing a thinly disguised insight into the interior design of the overdue second-generation XC90.

Signature Volvo elements such as the TFT instruments remain, but the familiar ‘floating’ and rather button-heavy fascia of its current road cars will make way for a cleaner and simpler design that moves most functions to a large, circa 12-inch central screen not unlike an iPad tablet.

This screen, which appears to feature four horizontally-de-lineated sections for various functions, is flanked by large vertical air vents with retro steel dials, and sits above a slim row of audio buttons.

Expect a version of the company’s new Scaleable Product Architecture (SPA) to sit beneath the concept, as it did with the previous concepts. This platform will underpin everything from smaller passenger cars to large SUVs such as the XC90.

The XC90 will be powered by a range of Drive-E petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, while a plug-in hybrid is also expected.

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