Volvo’s new owners Geely have stated their plans to increase Volvo’s reach around the world. This includes taking Volvo upmarket to a place it hasn’t really competed in. Volvo traditionally didn’t go head-to-head with manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The company would like to change that though, as with a higher status comes the ability to charge higher prices.
Moving upmarket is also a must for the Chinese market, as it is a luxury offerings. For manufacturers looking to get in on the luxury game, a big luxury sedan is a must. Volvo is showing off its Concept Universe to preview what such a model could like. Curiously, it is taking place right near the Shanghai Motor Show, but is not a part of the show as it will not be making an appearance there.
The Concept Universe ditches the swoopy design theme of the XC60 Crossover and S60 sedan for a more boxy look. It’s clear the aim is to recall the boxy look of past Volvos in order to create a defining design theme.
We aren’t so sure how it works in practice. From some angles it looks pretty good, and others disjointed. The rear also doesn’t seem to quite integrate with the front design, as it appears similar to the Fisker Karma. Concepts tend to look better than their production counterparts, so this doesn’t bode too well for Volvo.
The Concept Universe, as evidenced by its name, is clearly is a design study. It is meant to be uniquely Scandinavian in approach. In the future, Volvo says it aims to be the brand that “best interprets what buyers of modern luxury cars want.”
Volvo designer Peter Horbury is responsible for the design of the car. Describing the car he say “(it is) just like fine luxury goods, this design feels handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time….we will compete with the best with our special kind of Scandinavian Design. It is unmatched in performance and technology, but without superficiality or complication.”
It’s unclear how many elements from this car will be making it to production, but this car shows the way forward for Volvo. “The Concept Universe offers the world a sneak preview of what people can expect from our next top-of-the-line sedan,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.
Well, here you have it – a large sedan is coming, and for better or for worse, the Volvo Concept Universe is a good preview of what to expect.