10 of the best reasons to visit World of Volvo in Gothenburg

10 of the best Volvo

After nearly 30 years in the Volvo Museum in Arendal, some of the company's most legendary vehicles are now on display at the new World of Volvo exhibition centre in Gothenburg, which opened its doors on 14 April 2024.

There's a strong emphasis on the word 'vehicles', because as a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Volvo Group, the exhibition includes trucks, buses, mechanical diggers, military vehicles and boats. And not just from the past; World of Volvo also focuses on vehicles of the present and the future. To highlight this, there's a Volvo EX90 electric SUV in the foyer.

Not that ‘foyer’ does it justice; walking into the entrance hall is like entering a Cathedral of Volvo. It's all wood, glass and, predictably for a Scandinavian building, space.

If you love Volvos, you need to visit World of Volvo, even if you might be disappointed to discover that many of the exhibits from the old Volvo Museum are no longer on show to the public. The central display will change frequently, but you're unlikely to see the collection in its entirety. Shame.

For now, here are Petrolblog's 10 of the best reasons to visit the World of Volvo exhibition in Gothenburg.

It's got Volvo cars in it

Like, duh. The clue is in the name, but it's worth pointing out that the cars aren't the only reason to visit World of Volvo. You can eat Swedish food, host a meeting, buy Volvo gear or just hang out in the vast Danish-designed building. You can even play with a mechanical digger.

It's probably the best 'World of' attraction in the world

Having 'World of' in the title is no guarantee of a grand day out. How many people have arrived at World of Leather expecting something very different? Petrolblog hasn't been to World of Owls in Northern Ireland, bought anything from World of Wool, or spent any time at Bubbles World of Play on the Wirral, but each one loses marks for not having a VESC on display.

Yes, the VESC is on display

That's right, the famous Volvo Experimental Safety Car (VESC) is one of the main attractions at World of Volvo. Unveiled at the 1972 Geneva motor show, the VESC previewed a new design direction for Volvo and showcased a range of critical safety features. It also features a small and not at all noticeable rear-view camera.

It's next to a theme park

World of Volvo is located just a stone's throw from the famous Liseberg theme park. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's best theme parks, Liseberg attracts around three million visitors a year and is the largest attraction of its kind in Scandinavia. It's probably better than a day out of Bubbles World of Play, but do get in touch if you disagree.

There's a UK-registered 360 GLT on display

'PNP 209Y' was driven to Gothenburg by Volvo UK's former finance MD, who took the ferry to the Hook of Holland, drove through the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, across the Øresund Bridge, and then up to Gothenburg. With around 15,000 miles on the clock, it's probably one of Europe's best preserved examples of the 360 GLT.

You can play with a mechanical digger

Did we mention that you can have a go with a mechanical digger? Petrolblog doesn't know a lot about construction equipment, but the Volvo EC18 has an operating weight of 1,960kg, a maximum digging depth of 2,500mm to 2,700mm, a battery capacity of 20kWh and a runtime of up to six hours. So now you know.

World of Volvo has a Saab connection

The 22,000-square-metre building is built on the site of the old Saab gearbox factory in Gothenburg. Amazingly, several leftover lightbulbs from the factory have been used in the building, which took four years to build and consists of over 2,800 tons of wood from Sweden, Austria and Germany.

Irv Gordon's famous Volvo P1800

Irv Gordon's P1800 still holds the Guinness World Record for the most miles driven in a single car. The 1966 Volvo, with its famous 'MILNMILR' number plates, is likely to be on permanent display in the exhibition. As advertisements for reliability and durability go, this one is hard to beat.

Volvo's heritage manager looks (a bit) like Jürgen Klopp

If you've been wondering what Jürgen Klopp has been doing since leaving Liverpool FC, the answer is in Gothenburg. Well, sort of. Hans Hedberg is heritage manager at Volvo Cars and a thoroughly decent (and extremely knowledgable) chap. Give him a red baseball cap and he could do a passable impression of the former Liverpool boss.

It's free to enter

Well, World of Volvo is free... up to a point. Volvo says the facility embraces the Swedish Right of Public Access (allemansrätten), which means you can access the building without paying. So when you've finished scaring yourself silly on the Uppswinget, Valkyria, Balder and AeroSpin, you can nip across the river to enjoy some chill out time courtesy of Volvo. You will have to pay to enter the exhibition, so check out the prices via the website.

For more information, visit worldofvolvo.com. Alternatively, visit Bubbles World of Play.

Good photos © World of Volvo/Rasmus Hjortshoj. Terrible photos © Petrolblog.