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Volvo is attempting to rebrand itself as a luxury marque, but in this industry you have to do a lot more than simply state that your products are premium if you have any hope of drawing customers away from the German triumvirate. That’s why at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show this week, Volvo rolled out a new flagship model dubbed the XC90 Excellence which does away with the big SUV’s standard seven-seat arrangement in favor of a luxurious four-seat arrangement split over two rows, and where the rear pew consists of a pair of individual executive seats with reclining and massage features.
But what if you want that lounge-like experience but only own a small to mid-size car? Volvo is hinting at a possible solution with its Lounge Console concept, also on show in Shanghai. With the Lounge Console concept, the front passenger seat is removed and an individual executive seat installed at the rear, so that a person sitting up back can now stretch their legs after a long day and have a table to work from.
The table opens to reveal an illuminated vanity mirror and includes a storage tray for a few personal items. The table also rotates forwards and presents a 17-inch display screen for entertainment. Below is a cushioned leg rest and additional storage for shoes.
In developing the concept, Volvo said it performed “ethnographic” research to ensure it knew what “high-profile lifestyle” types around the world needed in their busy lives. The automaker then took a “progressive” approach to finding a solution to the apparent needs, one that was both functional and premium.
“People who are on the move and have a hectic lifestyle going from event to event or meeting to meeting need some space, some luxury time, and the opportunity to relax and refresh themselves for the next engagement,” Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath said in a statement. “This is ultimately what the Lounge Console is designed to facilitate.”
For more from the Shanghai Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.