2007 VOLVO XC90 volvo_logo.jpg

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Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Thu 24th March 2016

In late 2015 Keith Adams of Modern Classic interviewed Steve Harper in his Studio about this past...

2007 XC90 theme sketches 03.07 (image courtesy of Volvo Cars)

2007 MY  XC90

Leading the design team, Steve Harper was involved at the business planning stage, to establish the content and to secure the budget requirements. The visual graphic changes were again deemed to be the most important, to guarantee the Customer awareness of the facelift. But the main effort was to expand the offer, especially in the Interior, and raise the whole perception of the vehicle, to be more ’Car like’ and Luxurious.

The only problem was that the Markets volume commitments of the then still relatively unknown car, were very low. The result of this was that the available Budget for more considerable changes was very restricted. So the designers, Hakan Malmgren, Dana Popescu, Anders Sachs were given a very small scope for opportunities for change.

The design direction was soon made clear, in the choice between ’Hollywood or Africa’. The more ’Car like’ theme (Hollywood), was preferred to the ’More Rugged’ (Africa), a theme, which was felt was better dealt with by Volvo’s then ‘cousins’ in Solihull.

Despite limited resources, the Interior became more luxurious and classically elegant. For the Exterior, the changes to the bumpers, grilles and ‘bending’ lights, helped make the car seem less utilitarian, and the rear lamps, established a graphical design, which all Volvos have since followed.