Volvo’s Next Generation Of Cars Takes A Page From Tesla’s Book

Volvo concept estate station wagon

Volvo is showing off a gorgeous concept station wagon at the Geneva Motor Show next week, but the most important bit isn’t what the car looks like — it’s what’s inside.

According to the Swedish automaker, the “most striking feature” inside the Concept Estate is simplicity:

“The traditional selection of buttons and controls have been replaced by one large tablet-like touch screen control panel in the centre console, bringing the interior firmly into the 21st century.”

That’s right: au revoir, buttons. You know who does the same thing? Tesla.

While I have my qualms regarding the interior of the electric Model S, I love the huge 17-inch screen that controls just about everything the car does — radio, navigation, locks, windows, climate, etc. Lots of automakers have gone with touch screens, but hedge their bets with buttons.

I worry about the distraction element that comes with a huge touch screen — which you have to look at to use — but Tesla’s is one of the best infotainment systems you can find in a car today. If Volvo can come close to that quality, it will be a great move.

Here’s what it looks like:

Volvo concept estate station wagon

The new control system will be introduced in the next generation of Volvos, starting with the XC90 later this year.

Volvo SVP for design Thomas Ingenlath said in a press release the interface “is so logical that it will be part of your muscle memory very quickly.”

And for those (like me) worried about the distraction a touch screen creates — you have to look at it to use it — there are still buttons on the steering wheel and voice recognition so the driver can change the volume without taking her eyes off the road.

A few more images:

Volvo concept estate station wagon
Volvo concept estate station wagon
Volvo concept estate station wagon
Volvo concept estate station wagon

And here’s what you find in a Tesla Model S:

Tesla S interior