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Volvo estates these days are a far cry from the plain if eminently practical boxes of yesteryear. This Concept Estate  at the Geneva Motor Show also previews wholesale change inside the cars

EVEN the most casual observer of the motor industry will know that the days of boxy Volvos driven by antique dealers are long gone, but there’s another revolution going on inside the cars.

Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, making the drive more enjoyable, efficient and safe

The Concept Estate, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and the third in a series of concepts previewing Volvo’s future design look, is distinctive enough from the outside. Its curvy rear end evokes memories of the Volvo 1800 ES of the 1970s, today a sought-after classic car. 

It is on the inside, however, where the biggest changes are seen, a complete redesign that dumps the usual banks of buttons and switches for a single large touch screen mounted in the centre console and used just like a tablet device such as an iPad.

Virtually all of the car’s systems are accessed through the screen, the only exceptions being vital functions such as hazard warning lights, window controls and such like.

The driver still gets an instrument cluster, mounted directly ahead of the steering wheel, but this interacts directly with the touch screen.

According to the creators of the Concept Estate, the watchword used during the design process was simplicity.

Senior designer Thomas Ingenlath says the idea is to make everything more intuitive and user-friendly. “Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, making the drive more enjoyable, efficient and safe,” he adds.

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