We like to try and remain at the head of innovation here in New Zealand. For such a small country, we certainly come up with some creative solutions to our problems. Whether it is using a small-business petrol card to take the load off your fuel costs or utilising the latest in safety technology to keep our drivers safe, Aotearoa has a global reputation as the Land of Tomorrow.
But are there some innovations that are just too alien, even for us here at the end of the world?
The lap of luxury
Enter Volvo, with its first high-end luxury SUV named the XC90 Excellence. At first glance, there isn't that much that is so unusual about this car, as it has been available in its standard seven-seater form in New Zealand for a while now.
However, the differences emerge when you get stuck into Volvo's new concepts for a fresh, luxury design, turning the seven seater people carrier into a truly decadent vehicle. The rear-most seats are removed, while the front passenger seat can also be chucked out and replaced with a folding table or an ottoman – now that's one way to really turn your car into an office.
First revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show almost a year ago, there are rumours from Car Advice in a March 29 article that the new designs could actually be heading for production, provided there is enough interest from buyers – including those in New Zealand.
A family focus
However, the people carrier isn't all about luxury, as family use is definitely not placed on the back burner. The front passenger seat could also be replaced with a dedicated rear-facing infant carrier, providing a slightly less tricky way to transport junior around. Plus, once they have grown up, Volvo says the front passenger seat could be replaced with a regular seat and continue its life just like a normal car would.
While others have been developing autonomous driving and new safety features, Volvo is really beginning to think outside of the box when it comes to re-imagining the modern use of cars.