A flowing coastline, the silhouette of Viking longboats and the cool image of crystal clear waterfalls: Steve Mattin could not complain about inspiration when he initiated the new Volvo S60 concept design, in March 2008. The 45 year old Brit who came to Volvo in May 2005 had already put his signature under some of the most recent Volvo designs, the XC60 in particular. But this S60 should be seen as his first all-out attempt to create a new Volvo design language.

Mattin did not throw out traditional Volvo design values. The grille, the strong shoulders and the overall coolness are still present. But the overall expression in the S60 is a far cry from the original (and very successful in its day) sturdy and rational Ikea look from the Seventies by Jan Wilsgard, and – to a lesser extent – of the Volvo design as created under Peter Horbury and Jose Diaz de la Vega during the early Nineties, first shown in the 1992 Volvo ECC concept.

Today’s S60 concept preludes the next S60 sports sedan which is planned for 2011 and is expected to carry over the principle design themes of the concept which made its debut in Detroit, last January. “This concept is to promote a new form language for the new S60 to come and develop further,” Mattin told Auto & Design about his design brief. “And there is more advance thinking in it than before.”

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 175

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