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Concept Estate reinforces Volvo's new design direction


March 3, 2014

Beautifully proportioned, the concept’s decreasing roofline, low hoodline, short forward overhangs, fluid waistline treatments and narrowing cabin make for one stunning wagon

Beautifully proportioned, the concept’s decreasing roofline, low hoodline, short forward overhangs, fluid waistline treatments and narrowing cabin make for one stunning wagon

Image Gallery (36 images)

Back in August, Sweden’s polite, pragmatic auto manufacturer Volvo made waves with its somewhat uncharacteristic Concept Coupé. The Concept XC Coupé followed at the Detroit Motor Show in January and now the company is set to reveal a third un-Volvo like concept in the form of the Concept Estate wagon.

Set to be officially unveiled this week at the Geneva Auto Show, the new shooting brake design from Volvo not only carries over the language and styling cues from the previous concepts, but for the first time reveals the company’s future interior design plans.

The design language on show here, which Volvo says will carry over into future models, is a marked departure from its utilitarian past. Muscular, stylized haunches give the Concept Estate an aggressive yet poised look. Like the Concept Coupé and Concept XC Coupé, the forward design treatment of the Concept Estate features a floating grill, expansive intakes, and the new T-shaped DRL light guides. The rear light treatments are similar to today’s production models but with a more fitting execution. Aside from being beautifully proportioned, the concept’s decreasing roofline, low hoodline, short forward overhangs, fluid waistline treatments and narrowing cabin make for one very stunning wagon.

Moving to the Estate’s sleek interior, Volvo is quick to point out that the new oversized tablet dominating the dash isn’t just for show. The tablet is designed to act as the primary panel for most functions, replacing many of the car’s key controls and buttons. According to Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group, the new user interface "is designed to create a smooth, logical and safe interaction between the driver and the car.”

With the exception of a few ancillary items like window heaters and volume control, the new tablet display uses a stacking design and associated icons to manage climate, navigation, media, and phone functions. According to Volvo, the interface which works seamlessly with the instrument cluster and steering wheel thumb controls, and is designed to increase visual recognition and retention by expanding the selected item on screen on contact.

Looking like a mashup between a bespoke 1960s tweed suit and a new-age Swedish living room, the Concept Estate’s interior references Volvo’s 1800 ES shooting brake of the 1970s. In the concept’s cockpit, design details like orange seatbelts, wool carpets, floating leather seats, wood inlays and brushed steel trim are a clear homage to the manufacturer’s Scandinavian home.

1973 Volvo P1800 ES sportwagon

“The interior is exceptionally vivid thanks to a full glass roof and seats covered by light colored Bridge of Weir leather that helps to retain a bright and cosy feeling that is the hallmark of a Swedish living room, says Robin Page, Design Director Interior of Volvo Car Group.”

Behind the driver in the shooting brake’s open rear quarters, located underneath a transparent glass sheet, one can find a bespoke version of Swedish Kubb, or Viking Chess. What initially looks like a beautifully styled battery bank is in fact a lawn game which mixes bowling with horseshoes. This unlikely bonus feature that involves throwing the wooden sticks at wooden blocks is sure to make the list as one of Geneva’s more unique additions this week. Rain coats are also included.

This new interior design language, and oversized tablet, will be introduced later in the year starting with the new 2014 Volvo XC90.

Watch for Gizmag’s coverage of the Geneva Auto Show and first-hand photos of the Concept Estate later in the week.

Source: Volvo

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. With an education in automotives and marketing, Angus has rebuilt the carburetor on his 1963 Rambler Ambassador twice, gotten a speeding ticket in an F430 once, and driven & photographed everything from Lamborghinis to Maseratis to various German and Asian designs. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine. All articles by Angus MacKenzie

What the hell is a "Shooting Brake"? The sheet of glass on the FLOOR, plus some silly game is evidence of designers who ran out of original ideas for a new CAR. This is a CAR not a tote bag for lawn toys. That space should be used for batteries, or for hydrogen storage or some other actually useful application. The giant tablet thing will not likely work and in any event will fail, stumble over it's software, or become irrelevant long before the CAR wears out. Beyond that the car actually does look very interesting and I look forward to seeing what actually arrives in a showroom.


from my Industrial Designer point of view, The Swedish "Industrial Design School" (and direction) seems to go other than the typical and mass media induced people, which at the ends, produce nice stuff. One of the classic examples is VOLVO and SAAB... Unfortunately, Saab cars is no longer available for sale, but those "weird" and horribly shaped cars, got something that I should call: "coolness"! because when everybody got the same thing Chevrolet, Wolkswagen, etc, but you were proud and said: I got a SAAB!

The same goes for VOLVO cars (and owners). Those cars might look like a tank, OK, not the latest 10 years models, but either way, they were COOL and got all that Swedish technology and design that you don't hear every day on the news, but you were confident that it was there, inside your VOLVO, plus the all the security stuff typical from the brand.

Now that VOLVO car division were bought by the Chinese Geely brand, thanks good they didn't change the Design Director and give him the freedom to keep the work they were doing, and at the end, will allow us the consumer to still have the chance to buy a kind of "weird" or cool" car like this "Shooting Break" or the "Concept Coupé" and/or the Concept XC Coupé. I really liked the the forward design treatment of all these concepts, and hopefully we will have them available in their showrooms earlier than we might think.

Luis Quintero Cova

Is like the modern fasion of the Chevrolet estate wagon in the 1950ths.

Esteban Sperber Frankel

Bout time, too bad Saab cant get it together in the automotive div. Saab jets are neat, but theyre cars Ick

Stephen Russell

Shooting brake to me is just another way to say coupe wagon.

Mark Keller

It's a station wagon. Aside from that, the 1973 model is better looking.

Gregg Eshelman

@StWills this is a concept car. google the term. It just means a vehicle built to show the world how clever a manufacturer's engineers and designers are, and give the public a taste of things to come, but many features will probably not make it to production.

With volvo's track record though, I suspect 70% of the features to make it...The glass floor probably will not

@ Mark Keller You are correct sir. a shooting brake is a 2 door wagon

Anyway, I love the shape and glad that volvo is returning to form. one of the sexiest concepts they've ever made.

Michael Wilson
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