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Auto blogTue, 11 Feb 2014 18:00:00 EST
Volvo went through some doldrums around the same time it was bought by Geely, but it proved that it was back when it unveiled the P1800-inpsired Concept Coupe last August at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It followed up with the sleek Concept XC Coupe crossover (pictured above) in Detroit that echoed the next-generation XC90. Now, the Swede is readying one more concept to bring the trilogy to an end, and act as the centerpiece of its display at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
There are no images of the new concept yet, not even a teaser, but Volvo says that like the other two, it's designed by Thomas Ingenlath and shares common design elements. Since it has already imagined a future coupe and crossover, maybe the concept is a sedan. Volvo has confirmed that it rides on the modular Scalable Product Architecture platform that is being used on multiple future production models and uses its new Drive-E four-cylinder engine family.
The Concept Coupe and Concept XC Coupe will be on display with the new concept in Geneva so that visitors can get a complete idea of Volvo's future. Hopefully, the company has finally righted the course and is ready to compete on the world stage again. Scroll down to read Volvo's few details about the new concept.
As fuel prices rise and greenhouse gases poke holes in the ozone, big, gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles are becoming less popular as smaller, cleaner vehicles, such as crossovers, gain market share. Volvo is late to the small crossover party, though it wants to build the XC40 crossover to compete with the Land Rover Evoque. The only problem with that, Autocar reports, is that a suitable (read: small enough) platform for it is up to five years away, despite a hopeful photos of it in testing guise.
Volvo is currently developing a new platform, called SPA (Scaleable Platform Architecture), to underpin its next-generation of vehicles, such as the 2014 XC60 pictured above and the S60 sedan, which is likely the smallest vehicle that would be able to use the new platform. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be a quick fix for the gaping hole in Volvo's lineup, and Geely, the Chinese budget car manufacturer that owns Volvo, is reportedly preparing to launch a mid-market brand that may or may not be sold outside of China.
Can't Swedish car manufacturers catch a break?
This year Honda Yuasa Racing brought a station wagon back to the ranks of competitors in the British Touring Car Championship (its drivers currently sit in third and fifth place in the Championship). In 1994, however, Volvo was the first team to run an estate in the series that's one of the best for delivering close racing.
Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers drove the duo of 850 Estates prepped by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, lining up at Thruxton and proving that the rumors of a wagon in the series weren't a joke. The team used that year for development, getting the 2.0-liter, 290-horsepower, naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine ready for the next year's proper assault. The team's best finish over the 21 races was a fifth place, and they took 14th overall.
Rules changes led Volvo to switch to the 850 sedan the following year, but all the right noises had been made with the wagon. Rydell drive on to a third-place overall finish in 1995, three years later he claimed the Championship title. You'll find details and reminiscing from Rydell in the press release below, as well as the full video with scenes from the glory days.