Volvo shows it hasn't forgotten its futuristic roots
The 1980s were a dark time. I’m not sure if automotive designers were too busy looking for acid (to wash their jeans with), but the vast majority of vehicles for sale in the 80s are not going to end up on many short lists for best looking cars of all time.
Maybe they fired all their designers, bought a protractor, and spent the rest of the money on seat belts and crash-test dummies
It can be difficult to imagine when looking at the new 40 concepts from Volvo, but the Swedish car company was not immune to the ugly-pandemic (much like the Uggdemic of the late 2000s). In fact, they had such a hard time shaking the uglies that they made crap looking cars well into the 1990’s. Maybe they fired all their designers, bought a protractor, and spent the rest of the money on seat belts and crash-test dummies. During this stretch of time Volvo had a reputation for making some of the safest, but most boring cars on the road.
Even though this stodgy stature was well deserved, Volvo’s current XC90 and 40 concepts are anything but humdrum. The 40 concepts are based on a new platform called CMA and while it doesn’t stand for Country Music Awards, I have about the same level of interest in Compact Modular Architecture. What is far more important to me is that the 40.1 and 40.2 concepts look fantastic.
The 1979 concept was called the Volvo Tundra and it is everything you could want from a late 70s design
The designs remind me of a time when Volvo concerned themselves less with torsional rigidity and more with sturdy style. In the late 70s, Volvo employed the now defunct Gruppo Bertone to design a hatchback. I couldn’t help but think about this car when looking at the new Volvo concepts. The 1979 concept was called the Volvo Tundra and it is everything you could want from a late 70s design. The Tundra featured pop-up headlights, full-width tail light bar, and futuristic lines. Even though this car never entered production under a Volvo badge (later becoming the Citroen BX) it displays a commitment to modern design which is evident in the new 40 concepts.
At this point, like all the other automotive sites out there, I should show you a gallery of the new CMA based Volvo 40 concepts. Instead, I’m going to show you a pretty lady in a gold bikini standing next to an even gold-er car. Enjoy.