Volvo Debuts New Station Wagon In A Swedish Family’s Driveway

Volvo Debuts New Station Wagon In A Swedish Family’s Driveway
Automotive

Volvo's launch in suburbia showed the car in its 'natural habitat' and proved how well the brand knows its audience

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 12 march 2018

Volvo introduced its new mid-size premium estate (station wagon in U.S. speak) with a late February 2018 unveiling not at a motor show, event venue or even one of the Volvo Studio showroom locations. Instead, as Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa said at the debut, “We’re showing the car in its natural habitat.” The chosen spots were a pair of modern houses in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. Two simultaneous unveilings were staged for global media at the architecturally significant homes just so everyone could fit comfortably.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Lidingo, Sweden-3.jpg

We caught the reveal at a new house in Lidingö, waiting for the car to arrive outside in the near single-digit temperatures and snow (which felt more charming and picturesque in Sweden). Neighbors peeked out of their windows to watch what was going on. It felt less like a car reveal and more a throwback to waiting for parents to get home after getting locked out of the house. Eventually the car appeared, drove up the driveway and parked. Kerssemakers gave a few brief remarks, introduced Volvo staff on hand and invited everyone check out the car and explore the house.

Just in case anyone attending was disoriented by the absence of the sheet pulling, loud music and flashing lights of typical car reveals, Volvo supplied a short orientation document titled ‘ Why Are You In The Suburbs of Stockholm?’

For the new V60, we wanted to do something different. Something directly connected to what this car stands for. This is where our customers use and drive our cars as they engage in the challenges, complexities and joys of everyday life. They take the kids to school, do the groceries, drive to and from work, go out hiking or windsurfing at the weekend or take family trips. It is these customers we had in mind when we developed the new V60, a car that caters to the diverse needs and realities of modern family life.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Lidingo, Sweden-1.jpg

The house belongs to a family that happens to also own an older Volvo station wagon. It was designed by Stockholm-based architects Elding Oscarson and completed in late 2017. A unique feature is a small art gallery located on the lower level. There’s a subtle parallel between the house and V60, both having a metal clad exterior and wood accents in the interior. The ceilings of the house have exposed engineered wood beams.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Lidingo, Sweden-4.jpg

As for the V60, we chatted with Lisa Reeves, Interior Design Manager at Volvo, about how the car design breaks from station wagon conventions. “We’ve gone for this dynamic silhouette. The front end has a lot of attitude in its design, with the sharp angles with the lamps protruding into the grille. We did a lot with the windscreen angle to get the shape just right so it hit the sweet spot. The rear is more upright and functional. It was a very functional volume but it was also a really nice contrast between the dynamics of the front to give it that desirable premium silhouette,” she said.

Even though the rear cargo area is larger than the model it replaces, somehow the design team cropped and tapered the car to look quite sleek and sporty. This element of sportiness also might influence why buyers could be drawn to the V60 and buck the SUV and crossover craze.

“With a very low seating position to the road you get this very connected feeling when you drive it. It’s a driving enjoyment car over the Volvo XC60 SUV, which is usually preferred for the higher seating position. So I think it’s that person who wants a sporty feeling and who wants that really exciting drive with the road connection,” Reeves told PSFK.

Volvo Studio Stockholm, Sweden-5.jpg

Following the launch in the Stockholm suburbs, Volvo held a more formal evening event at the Volvo Studio in the city center. If Ferrari’s heritage is sports cars and Land Rover is the off-road SUV, Volvo is synonymous with station wagons. Outside was a vintage display, including a P1800 ES and a 940, to show where the new V60 evolved from.

Inside, several variants of the V60 were on display (sans snow cover) including a plug-in hybrid model.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Volvo Studio Stockholm, Sweden-7.jpg

The view from above shows the large glass roof.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Volvo Studio Stockholm, Sweden-6.jpg

The raked side glass and sloping roof gives a back a modern look akin to a stretched out hatchback.

2019 Volvo V60 Reveal Volvo Studio Stockholm, Sweden-8.jpg

Volvo’s choice to stage the V60’s debut away from a traditional motor show is something other automakers are doing more of these days. The suburban location was unique and shows Volvo understands who V60 buyers are. It may not, however, be its greatest marketing endeavor. That title goes to the 850 estates that were raced in the British Touring Car Championship in the early 1990s.

Volvo entered two wagons in the all sedan series to generate interest in the new generation models. When some competitors in the series heckled Volvo’s efforts at one of the races, Volvo put a giant stuffed border collie in the back to stare down drivers for a few laps.

Volvo


Images: Volvo (overhead group, 850 estate) | Dave Pinter

Disclaimer: Volvo paid for the writer’s flights, hotel and meals during a brief trip to Stockholm.

Volvo introduced its new mid-size premium estate (station wagon in U.S. speak) with a late February 2018 unveiling not at a motor show, event venue or even one of the Volvo Studio showroom locations. Instead, as Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa said at the debut, “We’re showing the car in its natural habitat.” The chosen spots were a pair of modern houses in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. Two simultaneous unveilings were staged for global media at the architecturally significant homes just so everyone could fit comfortably.

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