Volvo’s XC90 Lounge Console concept, revealed in April as a business-class suite for the road, has revealed a new trick this week: premium baby carrying.
While the earlier Lounge Console focused on providing ultimate comfort for individuals with a “high-profile lifestyle”, the new Excellence Child Safety Seat concept is all about the family.
Both concepts are born from the XC90 Excellence, a new four-seat version of Volvo’s new-generation SUV that promises a higher grade of comfort and luxury - in exchange for a slightly smaller passenger capacity.
This latest take on the Excellence allows easier than ever access to the child seat, which can be swivelled toward the door for loading and then locked in a rear-facing position that is convenient to both the driver and a rear-seated passenger.
“For us the safety, convenience, and emotional factors outweigh everything else. Being able to maintain eye contact with your child from the rear seat, or being able to keep a bottle warm in the heated cup holders in the XC90 Excellence, would go a long way towards making life easier for parents taking their small child on a trip,” said Volvo’s chief designer, Tisha Johnson.
“Such alternative seating arrangements will become increasingly important as we move towards autonomous vehicles.”
Johnson says the Excellence Child Safety Seat is the result of further study into reimagining the potential versatility of today’s family cars.
Finding a creative use for a vehicle’s interior space is nothing new, of course, with Honda’s cargo-focused ‘Magic Seats’ and the new Odyssey’s ‘Captain’s Chair’ standing out as solid examples in the current market.
Other models, like the Peugeot 3008, offer clever multi-tier and hidden cargo spaces, but few are quite this specifically focused on child safety.
Above: the XC90 Excellence in its 'regular' four-seat form.
“We have always placed a great deal of importance on child safety, but this takes things to the next level,” Johnson added.
For now, the Excellence Child Safety Seat is strictly a concept-only design study, with no production plans confirmed. And, while the four-seat X90 Excellence is confirmed for production, it is yet to be locked in for a local launch.