MORE THAN A†PRETTY FACE

DESIGN NERD SAYS ďVOLVO IS KILLING IT RIGHT NOW...Ē

FELIPE UBILLA

AS IíM A DESIGNER, and something of a design nerd, I really struggle to tolerate certain things. For example: the use of Comic Sans, bad Photoshop in furniture catalogues, and poorly designed cars. Not only do these burn my retinas, they also slowly kill a small part of me.

At the other end of the spectrum, though, I greatly appreciate design that is well thought-out and elegant. This has resulted in a strong attraction towards early BMWs, which I find to be clean and restrained (unlike the†brandís modern efforts). To my eyes, the E30 M3 is a true stunner, though even now a well-kept 318i gets a long admiring gaze.

In contrast, Volvoís offerings from the same era flew under my radar, mainly due to their boxier designs. Yes, there were several driving gems, but no early Volvo truly grabbed me.

Lately, however, the Swedish crew has been kicking some major design goals under the leadership of Thomas Ingenlath. Which is why Iím so enamoured with the V60.

I often catch myself stopping to admire its clean and crisp design. Thereís a simple elegance to its form, and thereís a hint of aggression to its stance (especially in R-Design trim). Extending the wheelbase and minimising the front overhang compared to the previous V60 has done wonders for its proportions.

The detailing is nicely considered, too. The ĎThorís Hammerí light signatures at the front and rear are both equally impressive and donít only look great but provide an easily recognisable signature of the brand.

Initially the Light Birch colour of†Ďmyí V60 left me uninspired given itís pretty close to beige, but now I actually think itís the shade Iíd buy.

In the right light the metallic looks stunning and Iíve really come around to its mature nature. If I wanted to attract attention, Iíd get a red VF Commodore sportswagon with an aftermarket exhaust. Weirdly, I find the Volvo much more visually appealing.

Good design is about more than how a car looks, of course. And again, Volvo is nailing it. The cabin aesthetic is clean and uncluttered with minimal buttons, yet this hasnít compromised its functionality. Itís nice to look at and to use, with logically placed controls and beautiful materials. Itís obviously been carefully considered by fellow design nerds. I like that.

FELIPE UBILLA

REPORT SEVEN

VOLVO V60 T5 INSCRIPTION

Price as tested: $72,390

This month: 437km @ 11.7/100km

EXTRA SAUCE

If you find this top-spec V60 T8 a little vanilla, youíll soon be able to buy a version fettled by Polestar. Outputs remain unchanged, but the Polestar Engineered pack adds Brembo brakes, engine bay strengthening, forged alloys and Ohlins adjustable dampers. Oh, and gold seatbelts.