Koenigsegg Prefers Volvo's Design to the Germans

Polestar CEO and former Volvo Design Chief Thomas Ingenlath also shared his views with us on the difference between the Polestar and the Volvo look.

Máté Petrány / Road&Track

As a massive fans of both electric vehicles and fast-moving Scandinavian objects, Christian von Koenigsegg made a surprise visit to the Polestar stand at the Geneva Motor Show. Frankly, we wouldn't be surprised if he ended up getting one to park next to his Tesla.

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Polestar will start taking deposits for its 600 horsepower hybrid coupe next week, and to celebrate its global debut, the brand brought a stunning grey example to its stand, accompanied by the white one from its Shanghai debut. Following Christian's appearance, I had to ask him about his views on the first child of Volvo's electric performance brand:

I think it’s a very cool looking car and it’s very much a classic Volvo, I would say, but now it’s called Polestar, of course. It’s directly connected to Volvo. What they are doing is very-very interesting, and going fully electric after this car is what they need to do, and should do (and will do with the Polestar 2 and 3 - R&T). And I think Volvo’s smooth design language is just marvelous. It’s more interesting than the Germans right now I think. They got more character. It’s got more flare than the Germans. It’s a little bit lighter looking, and less teutonic. It gives them a light-footed sense, somehow.
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After hearing all those kind words from the fastest Swede, I had to ask the German responsible for most of the job. Luckily, Polestar CEO and former Volvo Head of Design Thomas Ingenlath was happy to share his views on the difference between Polestar's and Volvo's design language, in light of the fact that the Polestar 1 started out as a Volvo concept long before the group bought Polestar:

You can put attributes to it. And Polestar and Volvo certainly would be described as having very different attributes. I think to a lot of people it’s very clear that Volvo design, the feeling and the flare of the car stands for a very warm, inviting, comforting, safe environment. A car that delivers a very reassuring and relaxing drive. The design will have a very inclusive, harmonious approach. And of course deliver on the Scandinavian flare in a way that you use natural materials for a very light and welcoming atmosphere.
Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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Now Polestar, again a Scandinavian brand and design, is more extreme in a way. It’s more edgy, it’s more exclusive and elite. More avant-garde, and it has an element of technical materials, technical look and feel in there which together with the pureness create a very…yeah, a pure impression! So, these are the two worlds where Volvo and Polestar design are very well defined. Having said that, to the global picture of design, of course there’s an aura of Scandinavian purity in both of these brands. And we never-ever would deny that there is this family, and similarity between the brands. Polestar 1 very much is a monument to the cherishing of the (Volvo) Concept Coupe, and bringing that alive. Having said that, if you see how that has evolved…and I had the pleasure to actually see it straight beside the Concept Coupe, it has evolved over that time. In the way how colors, materials and details are done, it already has a different expression. But with Polestar 2 and 3, this, of course will be reenforced and driven to a more individual look.
Now, projecting that further into the future, it will not be a development and a way that just simply goes further and further away from each other. There will be this period of separation, but then as well a very clear of way where both brands have a fruitful life together. Clearly, Polestar will spearhead certain things, not just in technology but as well in design, and that will have an effect on the Volvo world. You need the challenge I think as well! Something that kind of takes you out of the routine of doing things. And certainly, Polestar will help the brand Volvo as well of always being reminded that you have to ask yourselves again: are you still in the frame and the moral set, or is there something new to strive for?
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Máté Petrány / Road&Track
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