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Each new vehicle is a work of dedication, a culmination of the hours a design team puts in. Volvo’s Lead Exterior Designer Ian Kettle had an idea in mind when he drew up the new 2019 Volvo XC40 small crossover SUV and it’s not what you’d expect to hear.

Of course we don’t expect designers to turn on the creative mindset like a faucet, its something that occurs over time. Perhaps every designer has their own way of slowly getting into that finished model mindset, in Ian’s case it starts with jotting down what they’d like to achieve with the XC40 in words.

His idea was for the vehicle to be a “tough little robot” whilst still retaining a more “humanistic” side. With these words in mind, hundreds of sketches were drawn up during the development phase. Contrary to what other designers are doing, Ian wasn’t hung up on creating artistic sketches. Instead he looked at them as a tool.

By taking inspiration from Scandinavian design and having an eye for functionality, he managed to check off what seems to be a laundry list of prerequisites; something with a great seating position, commanding presence, and SUV identity in compact proportions, etc.

With how much effort he put into the final design, it’s no why the proudest moment of Ian’s career is the day he saw the first fully completed XC40.

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