Sleekness, simplicity and elegance. Long the hallmarks of Scandinavian design, they will be taken to new heights by Volvo’s new look for 2015.

     “To me, Scandinavian design according to Volvo is firmly rooted in the values of the Swedish society and the way of life enabled by this unique environment,” says Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president of design at Volvo Car Group. “Our approach goes beyond just bringing Scandinavian design items and signatures into our cars. Our job is to understand the spirit and the confidence that make Scandinavian design so special. Then we must translate it into car design.”
     Volvo’s 2015 line is all about the integration of style and functionality. Whether it’s the new Drive-E powertrains, autonomous driving systems or the all-new XC90, Volvo and Ingenlath are putting into practice the concept of building vehicles that are “Designed around you,” the driver.


     “Volvo is a human-centric brand with an exceptionally strong heritage,” Ingenlath says. “It is exciting to create a new design expression that supports the established brand values as well as the repositioning towards a more distinctive premium brand.”
     Ingenlath joined the Volvo design team in 2012 and says the Volvo approach to car building matches his method of design.
     “Everyone that knows me well would agree that Volvo is a perfect match for me,” Ingenlath says. “I have never been an instant crowd-pleaser who likes fast and loud designs. I am thoughtful. I like to explore the intellectual elements below the surface. If you do that right, the aesthetics will come naturally.”
Ingenlath says the Volvo concept of Scalable Product Architecture is allowing his design team to expand the boundaries of traditional car design.
     “The new architecture enables us to create the great proportions that are important to achieving a premium look. The dash-to-axle ratio is more generous than that of any other automotive architecture I have worked with before. This gives us the opportunity to be up there among the top premium brands when it comes to proportions,” Ingenlath says.
     Volvo’s new design will set it apart from other cars, proving the Scandinavian design concept is one that can succeed on many platforms.
     “Every strong brand needs a set of visual keys that makes it unique. Future Volvos will be characterized 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 whole 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,” Ingenlath says.
     Although the new Volvos will push boundaries and set new standards for car design, Ingenlath says he and his design never strayed from the roots that have made Volvo an iconic brand.
     “It is important to recognize that Scandinavian design will only be perceived as attractive if it is crafted with precision and attention to detail. Meticulous execution and consistent quality are prerequisites to qualify for the premium league of automakers.”
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Thomas Ingenlath talks Volvo Concept Coupe