Volvo started experimenting with the concept of launching an SUV effectively earlier than the unique XC90 made its debut for the 2003 mannequin yr. The model launched sketches of a rugged-looking, two-door off-roader that it thought-about bringing to manufacturing for abroad markets within the Seventies.
Had it seen the sunshine that awaits on the finish of a manufacturing line, the unnamed SUV would have undoubtedly been celebrated because the XC90’s non secular successor. And but, the sketches revealed by Volvo present a totally completely different sort of off-roader. Its entrance finish falls in keeping with the design language that characterised fashions just like the 200-Sequence launched in 1974 by adopting an upright grille with a diagonal “Volvo” emblem and rectangular headlights. Nobody would have mistaken it for, say, a Jeep CJ, nevertheless it appears to be like significantly extra rudimentary than the XC90.
The sketches do not reveal the again finish, although we will clearly see wrap-around lights and an exterior spare wheel. Whereas technical particulars have not been launched, it isn’t too far-fetched to invest that the mannequin was developed for critical off-roading. It options quick overhangs, so it could have (in concept) supplied excessive method, break-over and departure angles, and it sits a lot increased than Volvo’s present crop of SUVs. It appears to be like just like the rear a part of the highest comes off; we think about Volvo may need needed to maintain the B-pillar mounted within the title of security.
Pehr Gyllenhammar, the CEO of Volvo from 1970 to 1994, requested Gunnar Falck, the design supervisor in that period, to create the SUV. The transient requested for “a rugged car for Africa and growing nations,” which doubtless explains the proportions. Most of Volvo’s vehicles had been formed just like the field they got here in through the Seventies, however on this case making the sheetmetal flat and straight saved manufacturing and repair prices in verify.
We do not know what the SUV was powered by or why it wasn’t constructed. We have reached out to Volvo, and we’ll replace this story if we study extra.