84th Geneva International Motor Show

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07.03.2014 - FormTrends FormTrends

Volvo Concept Estate

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The Concept Estate is the third installment in Volvo’s acclaimed concept car trilogy. Previewing the design of the all-new XC90 SUV due to be launched later this year, this latest concept also reveals how the next generation of the company’s interiors will both look and function.

Showcasing Volvo’s collaboration with Apple’s new CarPlay -- the first automaker to publicly announce the partnership with the California-based technology company -- the interior features a large tablet-like touch screen in the center console. The interface replaces traditional buttons and controls, allowing users to operate nearly all of the vehicle functions through the screen.

Presented as a vehicle typology the Swedish automaker is perhaps best known for, this latest vehicle progresses the exterior design language revealed in the Concept Coupé unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show and the Concept XC Coupé that made its debut in Detroit earlier this year.

Just like the previous concepts, a ‘floating’ grille flanked by headlights featuring new T-shaped DRL light guides characterizes the Concept Estate’s face. The rear light signature is another distinctive element in Volvo’s new design direction; with a nod toward the iconic 1800 ES model from the early 1970s.

Its proportions are defined by its long, low hood, sleek silhouette and glass roof.  These contribute to the impression of a dynamic three-door sports wagon. The contrast between the deep, dark brown body color and 21-inch wheels pay homage to the company’s history while lending a contemporary feel.

True to its Scandinavian roots, the new Concept Estate's interior design is simple and authentic in its aesthetic and materials.  Handcrafted details -- such as an instrument panel covered by thick, naturally tanned saddle leather, inlays made of waxed, naturally aged wood and machined copper details -- emphasize the Swedish atmosphere inside.

“The interior is exceptionally vivid. Yet the glass roof and seats covered by light leather help to retain that bright and cozy feeling that is the hallmark of a Swedish living room,” says interior design director Robin Page.

Extrovert and colorful trends within contemporary Swedish lifestyle and design were sources of inspiration for the design team. Occupants in all four seats are embraced by orange seat belts, and the exclusive, woven wool carpets have the same deep accent color.

The crystal gear lever 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’.

Subtle inspiration from the 1800 models is also evident on several details inside the new show car, such as the two-spoke steering wheel, the instrument panel and the dials.

As Volvo has historically combined functionality, sturdiness and practicality with performance through cars such as the ES and more recent V70 and XC70, the new concept points to how the company could capitalize on this heritage in its forthcoming models.