There are so many things that are unrealistic about Volvo’s new car of the future: a ride that replaces the front seat with a swiveling rear-facing baby seat. The most obvious being that eventually you won’t have a baby and might want a seat there. You know, in about a year and a half.
The company just debuted the “Excellence Child Seat Concept” for their 2016 XC90 SUV, and it’s pretty cool. It’s also a little ridiculous, because who the hell can afford to own a car that is totally designed around a baby seat? These people can!
Mom’s thinking, “I just got my hair blown out and it’s totally reasonable for me to be wearing a silk pantsuit out with a newborn.” Dad’s thinking, “Conversation would be nice, but constant eye contact for baby is more important.” This ad cracks me up so much. This is the most civilized family in all of advertising history. They’re also going somewhere that requires both formalwear, and a barefoot baby. Intriguing!
The car offers diaper storage under the seat, and bottles can be kept warm in heated cup holders. What will parents of twins do? Teach the infants to Ro Sham Bo for the prime spot? Shotgun! will become a very popular first phrase. Barring that small detail, and the absurdity of a car that has replaced the front seat with a seat you’ll only use for about 2 years — the car offers something pretty fantastic: relief from the new-parent panic involved in driving an infant around in a rear-facing seat, in a spot in the car that is totally inaccessible to you as the driver. How horrifying is that?
I can’t be the only one who stopped several times the first time I took my infant on a ride alone to make sure he was breathing, can I? Everyone does that, right? So maybe if I’d had a ton of cash burning a hole in my pocket when my child was an infant, I would’ve bought this car and fiddled around with it for a couple years, giving my child the benefit of constant eye contact and myself the benefit of not constantly thinking my child was in distress in the backseat. Who knows. According to Volvo, “from a safety perspective there is no difference between the rear seat or front seat, given that the airbag is disconnected.”
Volvo’s new design is just a concept car for now, but there’s bound to be some takers out there if it ever actually comes on the market.