Volvo Cars' Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, has won the 'Design Hero' award at the 2017 Autocar Awards.
Ingenlath has been at Volvo since 2012 and has led a team of designers that have revolutionised Volvo design – and in turn helped make Volvos among the most desirable premium cars on sale today.
Modern Volvo styling takes traditional Scandinavian design cues – such as clean, simple lines and controlled surfaces – and combines them with classic proportions and striking details to create a distinctive range of premium cars. Add interiors that feature the finest natural materials, skilled craftsmanship and lots of natural light, and a Volvo is a luxurious, elegant, relaxing place in which to travel.
The first Volvo production model to benefit from this bold new design language was the XC90 seven-seat SUV in 2014, which was closely followed by the S90 saloon, V90 estate and the recently launched XC60 mid-sized SUV.
In order to highlight this new design direction at the Autocar Awards, Ingenlath personally chose a V90 D5 Inscription in Maple Brown, with blond/charcoal Nappa soft leather upholstery, walnut interior inlays, 20-inch eight-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof and dark-tinted windows.
Mark Tisshaw, Autocar Editor, said: "Great design is what brings the car industry to a wider audience, and Thomas has turned a mainstream product into a fully-fledged luxury brand.
"His five years in charge of design for Volvo has coincided with a reinvention of the company itself. Volvo's products are now among the most desirable, distinctive and best looking on the market, and are true rivals to the established German luxury car makers."
Commenting on the award, Thomas Ingenlath said: "It is a great honour to receive this award from such an influential motoring title as Autocar. Volvo's new design language is Scandinavian design at its best: form with function, and genuine beauty. That the hard work of everyone involved in designing Volvos has been recognised in such a way is a fantastic achievement."