Volvo has confirmed that its new V90 estate will make its global debut on February 18 in Stockholm, Sweden. With that, so begins the brand’s official teasers, starting with this – a look down memory lane at 60 years of Volvo estate heritage.

An ambassador for the body style, the Swedish car maker first began producing estates in 1953, beginning with the Volvo Duett. Since then, estates have made up for one third of all Volvos ever sold since the company’s founding in 1927. If you must know, that’s around six million Volvo estates.

“In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive estate brand. While the Volvo brand stands for much more than just estates, we will proudly carry forward this rich heritage with the V90,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars.


Unfortunately, leaked images of the new V90 estate (above) have been spilled on to the internet, somewhat spoiling the company’s grand premiere. Officially, we also understand that the estate will share similar underpinnings, powertrain and tech as its sedan sibling, the S90.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, Volvo wants us to take a look back at some of its most iconic estate models. It has also shared with us several pictures of its estates that lead all the way to the very first of its kind – so do scroll down to check them out. But first, here’s a brief recap of each model.

As mentioned, the business started with the Volvo Duett estate in 1953. It was one of the first Volvos to ever be exported to the United States. Its significance was so great to the Swedish government that a postage stamp featuring the Duett was made in 1997. It was a delivery vehicle that could easily transition into an everyday driver when needed.

The Duett was replaced by the Amazon (221), and ushered in more refinement. The S model was the brand’s most athletic approach to the Amazon, offering 115 hp – not bad at all for a car from the 1960s.

Then came the brand’s 1800 ES in 1971. Based on the Amazon, this estate had a short production run of just 8,000 units or so, but made a mark for itself with a very stylish look – one that even inspired the Volvo Concept Estate that was shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

After the short-lived 1800 ES was put out of production, Volvo introduced the 245 in 1974. Unlike the ES, the new 245 enjoy a 20-year-long spell on the production lines, and was even introduced with a special 265 version that had a V6 engine. In the 1980s, Volvo broke tradition by producing the world’s first estate that featured a turbocharged engine, the 245 Turbo.

And then came the modern 960 in 1990. With a more “aerodynamic” shape and a brand-new six-cylinder engine (at the time), the Volvo 960 was also the last rear-wheel drive estates ever made by the Swedish car maker. Notably, Volvo changed the model’s name to the “V90,” a name that is set to return to use by its coming estate.

In 1995, Volvo introduced its 850 T5-R — a special edition developed in part with Porsche. The model featured 243 hp/340 Nm 2.3 litre turbocharged engine, and was capable of performing the century sprint in under 6.0 seconds, and had a top speed of 245 km/h. Finished in a striking yellow paint, the 850 T5-R was also known as the first factory-entered racing estate to participate in the British Touring Car Championship.

Clearly, Volvo’s claims of being “the definitive estate brand” is backed up by a rich heritage in the business. Its latest V90 will be nothing short of impressive, combining typically good functionality, a design language that’s second to none, and a list of powertrain technologies that are at the forefront of the industry. Still think you’ve seen it all? Wait till this beauty comes to Malaysia – if we’re ever so lucky.

GALLERY: 1953 Volvo Duett

GALLERY: 1962 Volvo P221 Amazon
GALLERY: 1971 Volvo 1800 ES
GALLERY: 1974 Volvo 245
GALLERY: 1990 Volvo 960
GALLERY: 1994 Volvo 850 T5-R