Volvo Estate Concept, 2014
The Volvo Car Group uses the 2014 Geneva Motor Show to reveal the third in a series of concept cars - the Concept Estate - that continues the widely-admired exterior design language revealed in the first two concepts, but for the first time reveals how the interior of Volvo's forthcoming models will both look and function.
The Volvo Concept Estate's most striking interior design feature is its simplicity. The traditional selection of buttons and controls have been replaced by one large tablet-like touch screen control panel in the centre console, bringing the interior firmly into the 21st century.
In association with Volvo's specially designed software, the touch screen the main control panel for Volvo's new in-car user experience. It replaces all buttons and controls except for a few crucial functions such as volume, play/pause, hazard warning and window heaters. It also interacts seamlessly with the digital instrument cluster in front of the driver.
The Volvo is the company that redefined the Estate car by combining functionality, sturdiness and practicality with performance. The V70 and XC70 are among the most respected Estates on the market and the new Concept Estate points to how the company could capitalise on this heritage in its forthcoming models.
The Volvo has been on a winning streak with its concept cars. The Concept Coupé was named 'Car of the Show' by a leading German auto magazine at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, while the Concept XC Coupé received the prestigious 'Eyes ON Design' award at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show.
Global attention on Volvo's concept cars has been intensifying as they provide the first significant clues as to how the all-new and much-anticipated XC90 SUV and subsequent cars will look. The XC90 is due to be launched later in 2014.
Learning from history
The rear of Concept Estate echoes the design of the Volvo 1800 ES from the early 1970s.
The subtle inspiration from the 1800-models is also evident on several details inside the Concept Estate, such as the two-spoke steering wheel, the instrument panel and the dials.
Beautiful and different
Applying this approach to the iconic estate car - which is the essence of versatile Volvo functionality - creates a car that is both beautiful and different.
The generous dash to axle ratio, low bonnet, sleek silhouette and the glass roof all contribute to the impression of a dynamic, yet capable three-door sports wagon. The contrast between the deep, dark brown pear colour and the bright five-spoke, 21-inch wheels contributes to the modern, cool aura.
Swedish inside and out
Extrovert and colourful trends within contemporary Swedish lifestyle and design have been powerful sources of inspiration for the design team. Occupants in all four seats are embraced by orange seat belts, and the exclusive, woven wool carpets from the Swedish designer Kasthall have the same deep accent colour.
The crystal gear leaver from Orrefors/Kosta Boda also has an orange glow, while the chequered black and white wool textile on the headliner and rear sides of the front seats adds playfulness to the 'room'.
The feel of a Scandinavian living room
Refined, handcrafted details, such as an instrument panel covered by thick, naturally tanned saddle leather from Tärnsjö, inlays made of waxed, naturally aged wood and machined copper details, also emphasise the exclusive Swedish atmosphere inside Concept Estate.
Specially designed Swedish 'kubb' game
The ambiance might inspire occupants to stop for a picnic and game of Swedish "kubb". The specially designed game set is visible through the load floor in the back.