After this concept car, Volvo’s bricks became sleek and modern

Volvo VCC from 1980

Volvo VCC 1980

200, 700 and 900 series Volvos are fondly referred to as bricks by some owners. The 1980 Volvo Concept Car marks the beginning of Volvo’s new ‘Stone Age’, as it hinted at the 740 and 760 Estate.

Volvo’s model range for 1980 looked very clear. There were the compact Dutch models 66, 343 and 345 and the large Swedish models 244/245 and 264/265. All good, rock-solid and thoroughly safe family and business cars that no one could take offense to. As usual, the large station wagons took their own place within this whole; Volvo was almost synonymous with this multifunctional car type. It was therefore not too surprising that the Volvo Concept Car of 1980 was a station wagon. What was strange was that it had a much shorter rear than the spacious 245 models. Just look at the lady dressed in sober yellow, who can barely fit her luxurious leather travel bag in the luggage compartment of the VCC. She also had to lift the suitcase to navel height to even get it on board! Volvo had a reason for this: it had a new rear axle underneath. New in the sense that it was still a rigid copy, which was only lighter and hung under the car in a different way. The construction took up a lot of space, which raised the carriage floor. This is not good news for station wagons, where caring fathers want to slide a stranded child’s bicycle inside without too much fuss. This is why the new rear axle was reserved for the four-door models, led by the 760 GLE in 1982. Furthermore, there was little to criticize about the conceptual Volvo, which was not only given the beautiful wheels, but also the 155 hp four-cylinder engine of the brand new 244 Turbo.

Volvo Safety Concept Cars

Volvo released a concept car every four years: the 1980 VCC represents an experimental taxi from 1976 and the orange VESC safety car from 1972.

Streamlining came into play

The bodywork was a clear statement from the Swedes, who apparently let functionality take precedence over streamlining as a goal in itself. However, when it was designed, the VCC did indeed have a wind tunnel inside. In fact, the decision was made to design the model as a station wagon, because the air appeared to slide past it more smoothly than with a sedan. The designers were proud of the achieved Cd value of 0.37. They applied an aerodynamic trick in the form of a movable front spoiler. The device is normally partly hidden behind the front bumper, so that the driver cannot damage it when driving over speed bumps or against curbs. Only at speeds above 70 km/h did the wind deflector fold down a bit, to serve the aerodynamics of the car. A nice detail, but it was mainly the design as a whole that, in retrospect, makes the VCC so important. Its idiosyncratic basic form, recognizable from thousands, would remain relevant for at least twenty years. A stoneware model.

By the way, Volvo also released a VCC this century, although it then stood for Versatility Concept Car. A thick station wagon that somewhat hinted at the V70 that came in 2006.

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