You read the words "Volvo wagon" and probably thought about your high school Social Studies teacher's A-to-B workhorse. In fact, you would have probably already scrolled right past this article had your eyes not been transfixed on the lead image of this 2011 V50 and its bulked-up exterior. And while owner Smicha Momm Thira of Thailand put together the wildest example of Volvo's utilitarian, people-moving wagon that we're likely to ever encounter, he's nowhere near finished - but that doesn't mean we can't give you a tour of its current status.
Based on Super Street's feature vehicles over the last few years, Thailand-based builds tend to sit atop the list of regions that generate the most interest. A hardcore enthusiast fan base and almost nonstop events throughout the year tend to keep their aftermarket circle thriving and the builds never stop. In addition, unique swaps and engine configurations have become almost second nature and this V50 is headed in that direction as well. On the owner's upcoming to-do list for his wagon is an SR20DET swap with a manual conversion and removal of the rear seats in lieu of a custom 8-point roll cage.
Before the cross-platform conversion takes place, however, Smicha's aesthetic changes demanded a closer look. The mundane body lines have been aggressively reworked, and the look is now less family hauler and far more cruise missile. Not unlike many of the Thailand cars we've featured, the body modifications are in fact one-off, created by the minds at Garage Unique. The shop's handbuilt front bumper took styling cues from a Lykan hyper car and was fitted with bespoke carbon canards and a low hanging splitter.
In stock form, the V50s front turn signals represent the end of the bodyline, but in this instance its merely an indication of how much additional width has been added. Sharply angled front flares match the straight cut lines of the front bumper, and as the fenders meet the doors, you'll find a large vent joined by three slimmer openings. The newly created front corners sit around 4 inches beyond the doors and begin to taper toward the bottom, where they're met by sculpted carbon fiber side skirts.
The rear portion of the side skirts move upward and interlock with the rear quarter panel body flares, which take into account the mid- and lower-level body moldings to keep the lines flowing. The effort put toward widening the wagon wouldn't have been worth it without the right set of wheels, and that's where the 18x9.5-inch front, 18x11 rear Work S1 with Toyo R888 come into play.
The low offset affords more than enough space for Evo 8 front and Evo 10 rear Brembos attached via custom hubs. And of course, the extreme stance couldn't have been achieved effectively without the Hop-Up Airsus system in place along with BR series BC coilovers.
From the rear of Smicha's V50, you can get a good look at the R888's tread due to the inward cut of the rear panels, and just behind that an in-your-face carbon fiber rear diffuser fights for attention with the extended upper hatch wing that's been fitted with razor-like carbon accents.
The factory interior is incredibly clean with ivory seats that will soon be ditched in favor of race buckets and the aforementioned custom cage. Also factory issue is an engine that hasn't received any upgrades since they'd essentially be a waste of money once the Nissan swap gets underway. For now, the original 2.0L is sufficient for scooting through the streets of Thailand while Smicha daydreams about the "whoosh and hiss" of his future powerplant.
There's a project car out there for every enthusiast, but it's safe to say that not many are brave enough to approach the V50 with the same eagerness and vision that Smicha has. At this point, the car's aesthetic work is complete, and once the power portion of the build is taken care of this Volvo will claim its spot among the many unique builds from Southeast Asia's ever-growing enthusiast community.