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Volvo Teases Its Sporty Side (Yes, Volvo Has a Sporty Side to Tease)

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On: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 2:09PM | By: Chris Weiss


Volvo Teases Its Sporty Side (Yes, Volvo Has a Sporty Side to Tease)

Volvo has long been the brute workhorse of the car industry. The brand can be described by all kinds of positive adjectives—safe, durable, well built, etc.—all kinds of adjectives except "sporty," "hot" or "sexy." Well, "an imminent transformation is underway," and the Swedish automaker is intent on changing its unsexy safety car vibe, starting with a new concept car.

"Some people described Volvo's design as vanilla—in other words, nice, but not iconic or cutting edge," Thomas Ingenlath, Head of Volvo Design, explains in Volvo's teaser video. "Well, I can assure you that the vanilla days are over."

That's a rather bold statement from Volvo. Honestly, Ingenlath is being predictably polite in citing "vanilla" as a common reaction. Vanilla would indicate cars that blend forgetably into the greater industry landscape. Though they've improved in recent years, Volvos have a tradition of sticking out like big, wheeled cinder blocks.

It's clear that Volvo has been intent on updating its image. In addition to this new admission, it's also been working hard over recent years to become a leader in auto technology, not just for safety purposes but for greater driver comfort and convenience. Most recently, it demonstrated a self-parking car, and it's researching and developing other cutting edge technologies, such as an autonomous road train and pedestrian airbag.

It will be interesting to see what a modern Volvo sports car looks like and what drivetrain and technologies underpin it. What we have so far is a couple of teaser frames that flash almost imperceptibly in the 22-second teaser video below. In fact, if World Car Fans didn't find them first, we may very well have missed them completely.

One teaser highlights a C-shaped rear passenger-side taillight that reminds us a little of the Acura NSX. That taillight sits at the back of a muscular haunch. So far, so good. The other photo is a little more ambiguous, showing a slice of the front-end with an air intake and a grille with horizontal slats—not quite as good, but not necessarily a deal breaker, either.

We won't have to wait long to get the full story. Volvo plans to introduce its new concept car on Thursday, August 29 before premiering it at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.


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