By on April 19, 2011

Pull your eyes away from its fussy front-end treatment for one moment, and you’ll find that Volvo’s Concept Universe displays some classically elegant luxury-flagship lines. A long, sculpted hood, a kicked-back coupe-like cabin with powerful haunches and suicide rear doors all add up to an imposing but athletic flagship, with proportions that scream luxury. In fact, having escaped from the clutches of the serial luxury-brand mismanagers at Ford, Volvo appears to have created the Lincoln flagship that everyone has been begging for. Go ahead: compare this Concept Universe to Lincoln’s MKR Concept and tell us which looks like the better Lincoln flagship. Graft a subtle waterfall grille on this bad boy, and China could save Lincoln’s image the way Chinese designers were able to re-capture Buick’s all-American magic with designs like the LaCrosse. As a Volvo, on the other hand, the Concept Universe may be just a tad too ambitious.

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20 Comments on “Volvo Crosses The Universe, Ends Up With A Lincoln...”

  • avatar

    Saab 9-5 to my eyes.  BTW, are they still in business?

  • avatar

    I like the subtle blue and white porcelain touches that offer a hint to the new owners heritage.

  • avatar

    I dunno, the MKR (overdone grill excepted) was pretty hot. Aside from the suicide doors and overall length, this thing doesn’t say “Lincoln” to me — roofline’s all wrong. Of course, it says “Volvo” even less…

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    I think I’m OK with it. I know it’d sell in China, it would probably sell well in the EU if it had the goods, but will it sell in N. America where we are less likely to see a mid-market brand create a full-on luxo-barge? Not too sure.

  • avatar

    I like the design, says understated elegance to me (like the Jaguar XF). Certainly much more stylish than any current Lincoln product but of course there’s only so much you can do rebadging the Fusion & Taurus.

  • avatar

    I’ll wait for the wagon.

  • avatar

    This car has some beautiful touches, to be sure.  The interior is nice.  I really like the detailing on the shifter, and the dark woodgrain.  The exterior has a few nice curves.  Overall, it looks like a Jaguar XF except for one thing …

    An atrocious, prow-like front overhang.  It is so long as to be visually jarring.  It’s hard to look away.  That one thing screams FWD cost savings.  It does not scream luxury.

    The comparison you raised to the Lincoln MKR is interesting.  I went and looked at the linked pictures.  I like the shape of the Lincoln better, but I think its interior falls short of the clever details present in this Volvo concept.

    Now, here’s one other interesting point.  What did you think of the side profile photo of the Lincoln?  … Trick question.  There isn’t one.  My guess is that the MKR, like the Volvo, was built on a FWD platform that gave it dumpy proportions.  The photographer probably threw out every one of those pictures because he or she knew it would detract from the story Lincoln was telling.

    So, if Volvo wants to scream luxury, it needs to grab the front wheel and PULLLLLL it forward.  Then grab the rear wheel and PULLLLLL it rearward.  Then the front end may just fix itself.  And let’s see what it looks like then.

  • avatar

    Nicely detailed, but…yawn…

  • avatar

    Funny how the Chinese seem to be getting really good at capturing the essence of the DNA of a brand.

  • avatar

    I like the retro front end (definite link to the 144), but it just doesn’t work well with the rest of the car. Otherwise I’m quite impressed.

  • avatar

    Volvo needs a retro version of the PV544 and P1800 to garner any interest from me. Those suidide doors? Yeah, right – when did anyone actually produce a car in recent times with them?

    EDIT: They have sucessfully channeled the Buick Lucerne with this. Congratulations! Just make sure you put chrome surrounds on the tail lights – Buick forgot that little detail.

  • avatar

    Cars which ostensibly cater to those in the rear seats, should not force them to sit in a low roofed cave. Pretty looking Volvo, though. I guess Chinese design is the new Scandinavian design.

  • avatar

    It looks more like Chrysler than Lincoln or Volvo. Interior is a sheer fantasy, I cannot take it seriously. Volvo must be boxy, I like boxy tank-like Volvos most. Trying to make is sculptured makes it look weird.

  • avatar

    Volvo is just Lincoln-level, anyway. It should stop being a BMW and Mercedes wannabe.

  • avatar

    Everything on it is nicely done but the front end…. which car am I talking about?  Both, the concept Volvo looks like they built the entire car to support a five foot wide sub woofer.  The last thing it needs is a waterfall grille, unless someone somewhere has figured out how to do that subtly. And Ford hasn’t been doing subtle front end treatments since? The MKR isn’t bad either except again for the WTF front end.  The interior on the Volvo is very cool, entirely impractical but maybe the design cues can be carried over into the real world of NTSB crash tests and suppliers who only know of three colors, none of which are primary.

  • avatar

    Bristol front grill? Not the blatant BMW copy, but the 405

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