The Scandinavian sanctuary
Confidence and power is evident at every turn in the new S90. Meet the designers behind the detail.
Inspired by the Scandinavian mindset, Maximilian Missoni and Tisha Johnson describe their approach to the interior and exterior of the new S90
Maximilian says the confident and powerful looks of the S90 were born out of Volvo Cars’ new scalable car platform, known as SPA. It enabled the designers to push the front wheels forward, creating dash-to-axle space (the distance between the centre of the front wheels and the vertical line where the windscreen intersects with the bonnet), lending it very powerful, premium proportions.
“You can have beautiful styling on bad proportions and not get the same emotional response,” says Maximilian. “Everything starts with the Volvo Iron Mark, then we build the grille around it. This proud, high, floating grille is a strong signature for us. It’s inspired by Volvo Cars’ iconic P1800 coupé (1961-1973) and we also showed it in the concept cars that we revealed in 2013 and 2014, before its debut in the new XC90.”
MAXIMILIAN MISSONI - VICE PRESIDENT, EXTERIOR DESIGN
The modesty that is embedded in Swedish design is extremely modern.
Once the proportions are established, then the “form language” – its shape – defines the car’s character. In the case of the S90 and V90, it communicates solidity and confidence. Maximilian indicates a subtle contour line on the bonnet. “Of course we all know that this is sheet metal, but this line implies that the material has been scooped out of a solid block.”
This solidity is reflected in the rear hatch of the V90. “You see a lot of straight shut lines on competitor cars as they are easier to build, but we interlock the graphics of the lamps and panels with each other. It’s a challenge because it requires three different points to be perfectly aligned in assembly, but it gives you a much more solid feeling.”
TISHA JOHNSON - VOLVO CARS' INTERIOR DESIGN MANAGER
Swedish life is, by nature, a kind of luxury. The country is unspoiled. Forest, lakes and ocean are available to all. Our aim is to bring this uniquely Swedish experience to customers.
The Scandinavian sanctuary
Tisha says that the cabin in the S90 is the result of a clear vision: “People are captivated by the idea of a Scandinavian sanctuary – how Swedes desire wide, open spaces. We bring this to our cars by using panoramic roofs and materials that are light and natural.”
That feeling of airiness, light and space in the S90. Tisha, an American, describes it in the same terms as the open space you get inside a Swedish home; the roof allows light to flood in, like the skylight over a staircase.
Well-designed seating is a feature of many Swedish homes. Slender front seatbacks in the S90 are sculpted to give more knee room for rear passengers, yet provide the safety and ergonomic support you’d expect from Volvo Cars.
Everything we do is designed around people, so every innovation we make is designed to simplify and improve your life. We're especially proud of our advances in efficient power, connectivity and safety. We call our thinking in these areas: Drive-E, Sensus, and IntelliSafe.