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… and not in the sense that Mommy or Daddy are chauffeuring the offspring from school to playground.

It used to be that the most practical people I knew really loved Volvo. It was the SAFETY message the car company relied on. Like white nurse shoes. Well, “this ain’t your aunt’s Volvo any more”. Volvo is thrusting into chauffeur driven serenity. And they picked the right culture to make the point: Shanghai Motor Show.

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At the Shanghai Motor Show – going on now – Volvo is introducing the crossover Volvo XC90 Excellence. The seven-seat configuration is now a four seats. Behind the expected two seats up front are no longer two back rows, but two recliners. The commodious rear seats recreate first class seating in International flights. Retracting screens and pinot grigio-chilling refrigerator and theatrical lighting, etc.

But Volvo ventures even further to showcase its new “more chauffeured than thou” concept within the parameters of a sedan. This version removes the front passenger seat. In its stead, Volvo has placed a console that provides the right-hand, rear-seat passenger an array of Ritz-Carlton amenities, not to mention cavernous space and a footrest. And a great view of the road ahead.

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See this view with the theatrical lighting…

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The privileged passenger gets to recline and access a 17-inch monitor, tray table, vanity mirror, shoe drawer and storage tray for jewelry and makeup. I’m guessing the pampered passenger is either a beloved woman or beloved internationally famous pop star.

I’m not sure, but in one pix, it appears Volvo has included a drawer to store the privileged passenger’s six-figure wristwatches. (You don’t want to see it.)

We all fondly recall Volvo as that practical car for hauling the family around… they were from Sweden for crying out lous.  Emphasis was on safety and responsible driving.  Did anyone really make-out in their parent’s Volvo?

That was before a Chinese company called Geely bought Volvo in 2010 from Ford. Throughout Asia, there are plenty of wealthy businessmen, plutocrats and esteemed party leaders who really need to be driven around. But maybe without the ostentation of a limo. The new Chinese-owned Volvo has their number!

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