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

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“The traditional selection of buttons and controls have been replaced by one large tablet-like touch screen control panel in the centre console, bringing the interior firmly into the 21st century.”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

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:

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

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