Before Volvo’s Concept Estate slid onto the scene, the hottest things to come out of Sweden had been Victoria Silvstedt and Malin Akerman. And probably some overcooked Swedish meatballs. Now, we have nothing against those fine Scandinavian exports, but they’re like Ikea’s Förhöja line compared to the classier Stenstorp goods this inhumanly stunning Volvo shooting brake represents. Are we pouring on the Swedish references like glögg? We sure hope so, because Volvo certainly didn’t hold back when it came to Swede-ifying the Concept Estate that’s debuting at the 2014 Geneva auto show.
Aside from being outrageously good-looking, the Concept Estate is packed
with homegrown goods, from the included pair of Stutterheim raincoats
to the Swedish “kubb” game that can be unpackaged from the load floor
behind the rear seats. In fact, the Scandinavian obsession goes even
deeper: The orange wool carpeting is from Swedish designer Kasthall, the
crystal shift lever is made by Orrefors/Kosta Boda, and the orange
seatbelts and funky black-and-white checkered fabric adorning the
headliner and seatbacks are nods to Sweden’s budding creative sector.
Just about the only non-Swedish thing inside is the white Bridge of
Weir–wrapped seats. And probably the gigantic infotainment touch screen.
The Concept Estate’s other Swedish nods are pure Volvo, however. The
car’s styling is loosely inspired by the P1800 ES shooting brake from
the early-1970s, but only in general concept. Volvo imbued the Estate
with its latest design cues, including T-shaped LED running lights,
upside-down-question-mark-shaped taillights, and smoothly powerful
bodywork. The only direct styling elements taken from the P1800 are the
all-glass rear hatch and the powerful haunches. And we’re okay with
that. We’re also smitten with the concept’s 21-inch wheels and dark
While Volvo pretty much had us when the first image of the Concept Estate first crossed our line of sight,
it’s leaving us hanging a bit when it comes to details. Specifically,
the automaker doesn’t specify what the hot wagon’s powered by—if it’s
powered by anything at all. Of course, being brown and a wagon, the only
logical conclusion we draw is that the Concept Estate is hiding a
diesel under that long hood, thus completing the
automotive-journalist-fantasy trifecta. Even if the wagon had Volvo’s
powerful and efficient new super- and turbocharged Drive-E four-cylinder—or the S60/V60 Polestar’s 350-hp turbocharged inline-six, we’d swoon.
Alas, the Concept Estate might never see production, but pieces of it
will. Volvo’s adamant that key styling cues will carry over to upcoming
models, such as the next-generation XC90 crossover due out later this year. Given how well this concept builds on Volvo’s other recent show-car hits, the Concept Coupé and the Concept XC Coupé,
we have nothing but high hopes for the likes of Volvo’s next-generation
products. Hey, Sweden’s known for turning out attractive (human)
models—that sort of can-do spirit porting over to its cars has been a
long time coming.
Thanks to: Car and Driver