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by Brett Davis

Volvo has taken the wraps off its all-new concept which was previewed yesterday in a teaser video. Called the Volvo Universe Concept, the car was unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2011 in China and presents a design language that Volvo says honours the lines of classic Volvo cars.

It’s a rather awkward-looking thing, with its large block-like front end. But Volvo insists that the design is a modern take on the contemporary four-door coupe layout. The Universe Concept was also created as a request from Geely Automobile (owner of Volvo). Peter Horbury, vice-president of design and creative director, recently spoke about the concept at the unveiling, saying,

“The Concept Universe is exceptionally refined, yet with all the simplistic assets that make Volvo champions of the uncomplicated. There is a growing appreciation for this ingenious blend of design and technology among modern luxury car buyers. We are convinced that our special brand of [human-centric] luxury has a great future.”

Volvo exterior designer Jonathon Disley also spoke about the inspiration for the car’s design, saying,

“We felt that the most classic models were soft and voluptuous but also offered a sense of protection. We had a request from chairman Lee [boss of Geely] to reflect the serenity in light when the sun is rising or setting and to create something intriguing in the nose.”

Meanwhile, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, Stefan Jacoby said about the concept,

“Our aim is to be the brand that best understands what buyers of modern luxury cars want. We are eager to hear what the most demanding Chinese customers think of this luxurious concept. Later, we will show the design in Europe and the United States in order to bring it into the global context that we are aiming for with all our car models.”

No specific technical details of the car have been released but the car is said to feature a very luxurious interior filled with loads of technology. Technology including an LCD touch screen display that showcases an intuitive function which reaches for the hand as the user approaches the screen.

It also features reverse-opening rear doors and ample rear-seat comfort.