I was born in Melbourne, so I’m genetically programmed to hate everything about Sydney*. I live in Hobart, so I think Launceston’s a hole**. Geographic rivalry is about as old as mankind itself. It started when the first cavemen argued over who had the best hunting ground and it hasn’t stopped since.
As a Saab guy, I have a natural disposition to dismiss Volvo. Where Saabs were sporty and svelte, Volvos were boxy and brutal. The old joke is that they were built to protect Volvo drivers from other Volvo drivers. Secretly, though, I quite like them. I suspect a lot of other Saab fans feel the same way.
What drew me to Saab was Swedish design and engineering and Volvos share the same qualities. The design side hasn’t always been so attractive. I can remember an Aussie racing driver in the 1980’s describing the task of overtaking a Volvo being similar to trying to pass an mobile apartment building.
A lot’s changed, though. I’m wondering whether it’s time to openly declare some affection for the other Swede.
The new Volvo XC90 might just be a case in point. All we’ve got to go on is the interior right now, but that interior looks mighty Swedish – and mighty good.
Have a look at this:
Volvo has also done a concept teaser for the whole XC90 model. It reminds me of the Swedish fascination films Saab used to make, though the song isn’t as catchy as any of the songs that Saab used. The film isn’t quite as nice, either.
Then again, at least Volvo’s still here to make films 🙂
And despite the Chinese ownership, they’re still acting like they’re very Swedish indeed, which is great to see and crucial to their identity.
* I actually quite like Sydney now.
** Launceston’s still a hole 🙂