The Thomas Ingenlath design direction, part II:
Turning functionality and contemporary safety into emotional experiences
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection to both an active outdoor lifestyle and Volvo Car Group's (Volvo Cars) aim to offer customers a world-class safety and support package.
“Enjoying a car with great power and capabilities, at the same time as you are safe and protected, gives a great feeling of joy and freedom,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
Your design direction is based on the core virtues of Scandinavian Design. What’s the connection to Volvo Concept XC Coupé?
“Outdoor activities are an important part of the Swedish lifestyle. Your leisure time is dedicated to enjoying life. And your Volvo must, of course, support this desire. Our XC models express this by blending expressive style, generous functionality, All Wheel Drive capability and world-class safety.
“We will continue to refine Volvo’s strong connection to outdoor activities with more emphasis on modern materials. It’s about making functionality an emotional experience. Just like high-tech sport gear, our cars will blend attractive design and sophistication with strength and intelligent capability.”
Can safety really be fun?
“Being protected is a good feeling. Having the right gear – in this case the car – builds peace of mind and confidence. This in turn enables you to fully enjoy your drive and your adventure.
“This is perfectly in harmony with our human-centric approach and exceptionally strong heritage. It is exciting to create a new design expression that supports established brand values as well as the repositioning towards a more emotional, distinctive premium brand.”
How does the aim to be a world-leader in safety affect you and the design team?
“The new architecture liberates both us and the engineers from the limitations of previous cross-brand platforms. SPA enables us to create the great proportions that are important to achieving a premium look. The engineers can solve the safety challenges with more extensive use of high-strength boron steel and a new ingenious electrical architecture.”
Which are the most prominent new design signatures?
“Every strong brand needs a set of visual keys that makes it unique. Future Volvos will be characterised by the distinctive iron mark in the floating grille, flanked by the T-shaped DRL lights. The larger bonnet with its new topography, the beltline spanning an elegant bow along the length of the car and the sharpened shoulder connecting with the new rear light are other important design signatures. They all contribute to the confident stance. The overall simplicity, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the Scandinavian lifestyle.”
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé today, the all-new XC90 in 2014. How similar are they?
“The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is another demonstration of what our new architecture is capable of. It brings us a bit closer to the all-new XC90. But it goes without saying that a three-row, seven-seater will have a larger and fuller look than this four-seater. Volvo Concept XC Coupé is more of a Cross Country version of a sleek sports wagon.”