The new Volvo S80 has won the 1999 European Automotive Design Award.

Volvo received the Pan-European design award, which is based on votes from 500 professional car designers and design students from 33 countries, at a ceremony at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show.

The organisation Designers (Europe) emphasises that the Volvo S80 represents a radical change without breaking the continuity of Volvo design. Designers (Europe) writes:

"The Volvo S80 has been more successful in synthesising the past and the future than any other new car in 1998. It integrates the typical Volvo design features, such as a classic grille and large headlights and at the same time provides a new concept of a prestigious four-door saloon."

This is the second design award for the Volvo S80. In November 1998, the Volvo S80 won the luxury car class in the Automotive Interior of the Year Awards, presented by the American car magazine Inside Automotives International. On top of this, Peter Horbury, Design Director at Volvo Car Corporation was named "Designer of the Year" by the British magazine Autocar.

A modern blend of innovation and tradition

Blending innovation and tradition in a distinctive fashion is the key to success for the new Volvo design language, which made its debut in the environmental concept car ECC in 1992.

Since then, the new Volvo design has been expressed in a number of models, from the compact Volvo S40 and V40 to the two-door Volvo C70 coupé and convertible – and the Volvo S80. They all pay homage to the past with a modern design that move the aesthetic forward.

"The strong shoulders and the pronounced V of the bonnet are classical Volvo signatures which have been taken even further with the S80, "says Peter Horbury. "The S80 has an identity connected to the Volvos that have been without being sentimentally retro. I am very pleased when people look at the car and say ‘I know it’s a Volvo, but I’m not sure why.’ There is a subconscious recognition."

Dramatic from the rear

The big tail lights is another of the distinctive features in the Volvo S80.
Peter Horbury says:
"You spend more time than you think looking at cars from behind so the S80 must look as individual from the back as it does from the front. Our aim was to retain simplicity and form so there is no shift in surface, just a change of material. There is a continuation of the form from the sheet metal of the body to the plastic of the tail lamps.

Form follows function

"If it’s not functional it can’t be beautiful" is another Volvo expression. This is also emphasised in a large number of features in the Volvo S80. Peter Horbury adds:

"Modern car buyers can match intelligence and beauty. There is the aesthetic appreciation and the urge to buy quality instead of quantity. Since the cleverness is in the function of the car, the Volvo S80 becomes an extremely competitive choice."

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