Volvo has released the first details of its new V70 – and it looks like the Swedish marque’s slow progression from boxy middle-class childwagon to almost cool load lugger is coming along nicely.

Due in September, the new V70 has sleeker and more athletic lines, a rakish windscreen, blacked-out side pillars and C30-inspired taillights. Sitting on a brand new chassis, the V70 promises better ride comfort, road holding and handling than the current incarnation.

Dynamic stability and traction control will come as standard on all models, while the top-spec T6 model gets Volvo’s responsive Instant Traction AWD (all-wheel drive), that uses an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch to distribute power to the wheels with the most grip. Nice. Speed-sensitive power steering and a power parking brake that automatically disengages when the accelerator is pressed and the car moves off are also included.

Crucially for Volvo diehards, you get 55 litres more in the boot and the rear seats can be reorganised to suit needs. A sliding load floor is also available as an option.

Under the bonnet, the T6 gets a stonking six-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine and produces almost 300bhp and 0-60mph in just 7.2 seconds. The otherwise calm residents of Esher won’t know what’s hit ‘em. Lesser models offer a 2.5-litre petrol or 2.4-litre turbodiesel.

And a Volvo wouldn’t be a Volvo without almost every safety gizmo you can think of. Interior looks plush, too.