The next generation of Volvo cars will evolve their styling and remain faithful to the restrained look of the current range. To boost customer appeal, advanced battery-electric powertrains and self-driving technology will be applied.
Under chief design officer Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo is already exploring its next range of models, and at an event in Stockholm to celebrate the completion of its revamp under Chinese owner Geely, he is happy to shine some light on the future line-up and its design.
“One thing is clear: we have to move on. Things are evolving and we have to come up with some new and exciting stuff,” he says.
Ingenlath cut his teeth at Audi in its days of Bauhaus-inspired restrained design before working for Skoda and Volkswagen. He has masterminded a rapid relaunch of Volvo’s compete model range in just six years after the Geely takeover, working with ex-Bentley interior chief Robin Page and former VW designer Max Missoni to launch critically and commercially succesful models such as the Volvo XC40.
“We managed successfully in this generation not to go down the route of heavily sculpted bodywork, unlike some of our competition that have a hectic look with millions of cuts in the body panels,” says Ingenlath.
Now the three designers are working on the second generation of models and a significant question is how to evolve a styling theme whose DNA was established in the 1970s and 1980s, and then expertly nurtured into a fresh incarnation under Peter Horbury in the 1990s before Ingenlath and his team honed today’s handsome millennial look.