If Frankfurt 2013‘s Concept Coupe was a P1800 reborn, this is an 1800 ES reborn – the evocative three-door shooting-brake shape jazzes itself up with T-shaped DRLs, d- (or b-) shaped tail lamps and a grille that looks like the night sky.
Equally ogle-worthy are the long and low bonnet, angular rear haunches and tailpipes, glass roof and striking 21-inch five-spoke alloys. Don’t you think it’s amusing how the estate, being utilitarian in origin, can become one of the most dynamic-looking bodystyles in the world of cars?
What’s even more amusing is the fact that, despite the Concept Estate’s outside gorgeousness, Volvo has more to say of its interior. The sea of buttons you used to drown in in Volvos of old is nowhere to be found.
Instead there’s a portrait-oriented touch-tablet on the centre stack that allows you to control pretty much everything except volume, play/pause, hazard lights and window heaters – these presumably call for a more tactile method of operation.
Very proudly Swedish – all four occupants get orange-coloured seat belts and under their feet are woven wool carpets from Swedish designer Kasthall. The crystal gear lever with its orange glow comes from Orrefors/Kosta Boda and the tanned saddle leather covering the instrument panel from Tärnsjö.
Also giving “the feel of a Scandinavian living room” are chequered wool on the ceiling and front seat backs, inlays made of waxed, naturally-aged wood and machined copper details. Nothing from Ikea, it seems.
Interestingly, there’s even a game of Swedish kubb under the load floor in the boot – you know, in case you forget which country the car came from. Time for a Proton or Perodua concept with congkak in the boot.
The Volvo Concept Estate is the last of the three concepts penned by new design boss Thomas Ingenlath – all of which are SPA- and VEA (Drive-E)-based. All of them preview future Volvo models – particularly the next-gen XC90, which is due to launch later this year.
Now drool away.