Design Chief Promises 2018 Volvo XC60 Inner surface Will Take Another Step Forward
When a designer tells us a completely new Inner surface is actually coming, usually we just nod. When that will designer is actually Thomas Ingenlath, the designer who determines what “Volvo” means to our eyeballs, our ears stand up like those of an elkhound that will just heard the word “walk.” Ingenlath is actually the chief emotion stirrer behind the XC90 as well as S90, as well as the striking interiors of those Volvos are only the most recent credits on his impressive résumé.
We’re seated in a glass pod 20 feet above the Los Angeles auto show’s South Hall, in a hyper-Scandinavian expression of a modern show stand. Downstairs, a massive screen displays images of a frigid sea, cloudy skies time-lapsing to clear as well as back. You can see those blues as well as grays translated to colors on Volvo’s display cars. Further images of vast forests seem to connect with the abundance of warm wood used from the exhibit as well as from the cars themselves.
While I’m listening to Ingenlath, occasionally my eyes dart around the room. The floor is actually wood, with contrasting circle inserts from the planks. Plates as well as a carafe of coffee rest on a textured wood table, with lines as well as protruding square shapes that will give the wooden table stand a 3D matrix effect. Just behind that will is actually a wall made of vertically slanted wood. Something Ingenlath will say in just a few moments will make all of these details distinctly important.
We’re already anticipating many details about Volvo’s completely new mid-size SUV, which we’ve spied in testing. To be built on a downsized product of the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that will underpins the XC90, the 2018 XC60 will be powered by Volvo’s latest 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, the turbocharged T5 as well as the turbo- as well as supercharged T6. The T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is actually also likely, as well as a pure-electric product could arrive a couple of years after launch. external design will evolve the XC60’s current aesthetic as well as incorporate cues such as Thor’s Hammer headlight flourishes as well as LED taillights.
Where things get truly interesting is actually Inner surface design, a field where Volvo is actually particularly excelling of late. While the industry has heaped praise on Volvo for the concept-car-like interiors of the current production versions of the XC90 SUV (photo below) as well as S90 sedan, the Swedish automaker is actually wary of resting on its successes.
“We’ve had some momentum, as well as that will truly allows us to be playful. We can currently say, ‘Okay, let’s push This particular a step further,’ ” Ingenlath said. “I know a lot of the industry is actually watching us, as well as they’re looking at our stuff, especially the interiors, as well as here we can show them we have one more trick in our basket as well as play with that will, not just repeat ourselves. The XC60 will be the next evolution of our Inner surface, as well as we’ll be presenting that will next year.”
What might This particular evolution look like? First, Ingenlath confirms that will Volvo’s Sensus Connected Touch infotainment system will come down via the 0-series cars yet will be tweaked. “We won’t have smaller screens—that will will be This particular great delightful screen that will we have currently. Our system from the XC60 will reflect the next evolution, as well as This particular won’t stay from the 60, that will will come to all of our lineup.”
For those just getting used to Volvo’s completely new system, fear not. “that will will not be like suddenly everything is actually different, yet that will will be a clear step.” Ingenlath said future Volvos, to include the S60 as well as V60 sedan as well as wagon, will also incorporate the ability to update the software in order to continuously refine the use as well as ease of the system during the term of ownership. “We’re not going to be like Apple, issuing updates every three months, yet you will be able to update how you interact with your vehicle. We’ll keep pushing the interfaces further to get closer to the imaginary state of perfection. We want to make that will as delightful as possible, as easy as possible, while still keeping the brand flair.”
Another area that will could differ via the current XC60? “What we’re definitely exploring is actually our wood history. currently, we have a very, very natural expression of wood, which we of course want to keep. yet I’m very convinced that will even in a very young as well as more avant-garde Inner surface, you can have very interesting wood expression in there.”
While premium as well as luxury brands employ wood to warm a cabin’s Inner surface, the options usually consist of colors or finishes. Two exceptions are Bentley as well as Rolls-Royce, both of which have a rich heritage of fine woodwork. Those cars also cost a quarter of a million dollars as well as up on average. If the woodwork on Volvo’s show stand is actually an indicator, the prospect of seeing something fresh—as well as in a 5-digit cost range—is actually intriguing.
Ingenlath said the team is actually also exploring modern textiles as well as materials. “Do we always have to have leather in a luxurious car? that will definitely is actually a big question for us. We’d love to convince the customers that will there is actually an alternative car Inner surface beyond leather.”
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Ingenlath contends that will that will wouldn’t be a completely new faux leather, either. “We’re not trying to pretend. that will wouldn’t be a pretend leather. We want to look at different fabrics. yet there’s definitely a real challenge to convince customers’ perceptions.” The Gothenburg-based designer said he had a similar challenge when he first came to the United States to show off the matte wood in what was then the future XC90. Despite initial reluctance as well as pushback, he said that will that will is actually currently accepted as well as has been a huge success.
Asked when we might specifically see This particular evolution of Volvo’s Inner surface design language, the answer was clear: “March.” So look for the 2018 XC60 to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva auto show.