Meet the Designers: Volvo Concept Estate

The third showcar in Volvo’s trilogy, the Concept Estate is a precursor of things to come from the Swedish brand.

“We didn’t want to do a retro car,” says exterior design director Maximillian Missoni, explaining how the Estate follows on from the Concept Coupe shown in Frankfurt. “We just want some of the historic influences but to also get our new Volvo design DNA across with this car.”

As such the concept previews the future direction of Volvo production vehicles, the first of which will be the redesigned XC90 SUV.

“There are some subtle but clear hints to the ES 1800,” says Missoni. “But, of course, it has all our hallmarks, our features in there as well.”

As with the Concept Coupe and the Concept XC Coupe, the Concept Estate eschews the increasing trend of vehicles being increasingly aggressive in their aesthetic demeanor. Instead the concept harnesses the form language of Volvo’s iconic past vehicles, such as the P1800, 850 and 780 designed by Bertone.

“It’s not trying to be overly aggressive,” says Missoni. “They really combine the beauty in terms of form language of the P1800, Amazon, ES era, with the later era Volvos that have this strong presence, this power on the road. We combined them in this car, so we have that calm, confident presence that we’re looking for together with elegant, beautiful premium appearance and surfacing.”

The interior was built around the center HMI system and features an array of natural and sustainable materials. Typical of interior design director Robin Page’s approach, the design is punctuated a few beautiful details.

“With this car we wanted to get the whole Scandinavian lifestyle, influences from fashion and really picking up on that feel of Swedish-ness,” says interior design director Robin Page.

The textile on the seats adorned with Svensson’s Ink upholstery fabric, the wool carpets by Swedish designer Kasthall and the crystal gear leaver from Orrefors/Kosta Boda are just a few of the elements that combine to bring out the Swedish craftsmanship.

This works in unison with other details – such as the intricate stitching and jewelry elements on the seats – to emphasize the luxurious aspects of the cabin, while the seatbelts, which thread through the car like a ribbon, are meant to emphasize Volvo’s tried and tested reputation for safety.

But the designers also had a bit of fun with it.

“To really capture Swedish lifestyle and use that as an influence for the design we thought it would be fun to put one of the famous Swedish games into the back,” says Page.

Page’s team therefore specially designed a ‘kubb’ set and integrated it into the rear load floor, with instructions on how to play the game written on a transparent glass cover.

Overall the design of the Concept Estate is very well resolved and seems to be easily adapted for production. We can’t wait to see Volvo’s newfound design direction in production guise.


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