Set to debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, the Volvo Concept Estate has been previewed cloaked in a specially-made Swedish Stutterheim raincoat.
The unusual teaser sees Volvo teaming up with a native weather-protecting company, which has created the ‘Estate Svart’ – a car cover designed specifically for the Concept Estate.
“The Estate Svart is a car cover made with inspiration from the Volvo Concept Estate,” tells a blurb on the Stutterheim website.
“The paths and philosophies of Volvo Cars and Stutterheim intersect at several points, both of us taking pride in craftsmanship, design and a Scandinavian heritage.”
In four pictures, the ‘raincoat’ has been pulled back on the rear-left, rear-right, right rear three-quarter panel and front grille of the concept, revealing a three-door ‘shooting brake’ wagon.
The Concept Estate is the third in a line of Volvo concepts that previews the company’s styling direction of next generation models – following last year’s Concept Coupe and the XC Coupe shown at January’s Detroit motor show.
As with those concepts, the Concept Estate has an oblong-shaped front grille with very square edges and a large Volvo badge in the centre of the diagonal chrome sash.
The concept’s sides feature two strong character lines, one that runs from the front three quarter panel to the front door, before a higher-set line sits higher up and draws up towards the high-set tail-lights.
The tail-lights themselves feature the same ‘C’ shape as seen in the other concepts, melded at the upper end with a classic Volvo wagon design that sees the tail-light run vertically past the leading edge of the rear window.
From the rear it’s clear the glasshouse tapers to create a smaller rear window aperture, leaving bold rear haunches on a three quarter panel that sticks wide of the glasshouse. The number plate is positioned on the rear bumper, as it is with the current V40, rather than on the tail-gate as it is with the current V60.
Volvo’s Concept Estate is likely to be a design study for the next-generation V60 and possible spin-offs such as a three- or five-door shooting brake.
Volvo has committed to an expensive new platform called Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) set to underpin several new generation models, such as sedan and wagon replacements (S60/V60), new SUV models (XC40/XC60/XC90) and potential niche derivatives (coupe, shooting brake, 7 Series-rival).
Compact new four-cylinder-only Drive-E engines have allowed Volvo to push the front axle line forward to create a generous space between front door and wheelarch aimed to mimic the proportions of a rear-wheel drive car. This will be a feature of all SPA products, and will be seen on this Concept Estate.
Referring to the Concept Coupe, Volvo Car Group’s new head of design Thomas Ingenlath has listed “the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures” as hallmarks of the company’s new design direction based off SPA platforms.
While the Volvo Concept Estate will remain just that for now – a concept – the first car to display the company’s new styling direction and to be based off the SPA architecture is the production Volvo XC90 expected at the Paris motor show in September.