Volvo has given the clearest indication yet of its intentions to build a premium rival for the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7 with this swoopy new fastback saloon concept.
Called Concept You, the five-metre-long model is an evolution of the controversial Concept Universe unveiled at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year. That car was created by Volvo to please its Chinese owner, Geely, but the concept’s second iteration, launched at this week’s Frankfurt motor show is a much more European interpretation of how Volvo’s next large saloon will take shape.
The main changes from Concept Universe to Concept You include the adoption of an A7/CLS-style roofline and the addition of a luxurious, high-quality interior. The front end, particularly the grille, has also been toned down from the Shanghai concept and scaled back for a sleeker, more simplistic look, although Concept Universe’s Volvo PV544-inspired bonnet treatment — its most talked-about feature — remains.
Volvo design chief Peter Horbury says the firm is serious about building another large saloon to replace the S80 and Chinese-market S80L, and reaction to the Frankfurt concept will dictate whether the firm goes for a more traditional three-box approach or sticks with Concept You’s coupé-style roofline.