When Thomas Ingenlath decided last year to take the position of senior vice president of design at Volvo, he began asking anyone he encountered to describe Volvo cars in a single word. The prevailing response: “nice.” “Not iconic or cutting edge,” notes Ingenlath, who previously headed up the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam, Germany. His first design sets out to change all that. “This is how Volvos will taste from now on,” says Ingenlath of the Volvo Concept Coupe (pictured), a bold two-seater that will be launched in Frankfurt next week after a hush-hush sneak peek in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“The last few years, car design has become increasingly standardized…and too often defined by cluttered and overly complex design,” he explains. “While other brands try too hard to look luxurious and muscular, Volvo Cars will stand out as the calm, confident, and naturally powerful challenger.” With new proportions and a face full of design elements (a floating grill, cow horns in the lower front) that reference the classic Volvo P1800, the new coupe is the first in a series of three concept cars that will each represent the next generation of Volvo models, starting with the New Volvo XC90 that is due out next year. As for the jaw-dropping interior, with its luxe leather instrument panel and hand-carved wood inlays, credit goes to design director of interior, Robin Page, who joined Volvo earlier this year from Bentley.