Geely’s premium brand, Volvo, will soon launch its XC40 compact SUV, the first time the brand has created an entry for this market.
The company has teased the new car by discussing its interior, but has kept the exterior under wraps.
The new model completes a three-pronged approach to the SUV market, complementing the larger XC60 and XC90.
Erik Åleby, colour and materials’ designer at Volvo Car Group, said that fashion, art, architecture and modern culture all played a part in the new model’s interior. The Volvo brand has been ‘remixed’, with the XC40 charged with attracting new customers to it. There had to be a ‘new expression for new customers,’ explained Åleby.
The company says that the new model will bring a ‘vibrancy, individuality and playfulness’ that it says is absent from the segment.
‘XC40 drivers are interested in fashion, design and popular culture, and often live in large, vibrant cities. They want a car that reflects their personality. The XC40 is that car,’ said Thomas Ingenlath, chief design officer at Volvo Cars.
Senior vice-president of design at Volvo Cars, Robin Page, said, ‘Our customer research clearly showed that for the XC40 and for this segment, we needed a wider selection of colours and materials than we usually offer. As Volvo Cars has never designed a car like the XC40 before, we could start from scratch and give it energy and playfulness.’
Linnea Karlsson, colour and materials’ designer at Volvo Car Group, said this allowed her and her colleagues to work with non-traditional materials. The felt, for example, is made from 100 per cent sustainable material. Other materials they worked with included diamond-cut metal, and cartography also inspired the design process.
‘Our Momentum trim level is the most fashion-oriented of the line-up, with vivid exterior colour combinations, while the R-Design and Inscription trim levels reflect a more dynamic and premium feel,’ said Ebba Maria Thunberg, vice-president of colour and materials at Volvo Cars.