Polestar Boss Says Modern Car Design Is Too Arrogant

Design / 14 Comments

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Car executives are proving to be the most vocal and entertaining players in the automotive segment this week. First, a French design boss called touchscreens stupid, and now Polestar's CEO has criticized modern car design for being too shouty.

In a recent interview, Polestar's CEO Thomas Ingenlath spoke with Top Gear about car design. Ingenlath is qualified to comment on design, having worked in Volvo and Volkswagen's design departments.

"It's been, and still is, a phase where there's an amazing overemphasis of expressiveness," said Ingenlath. "You walk through a street where lots of cars are parked, and all of them are shouting at you. It's a very arrogant attitude, to actually molest people with these expressions. You feel like, 'come on, have a certain decency.' Some class would be appropriate."

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Those are some savage words from Ingenlath, who, unfortunately, doesn't name and shame the manufacturers he's referring to. Instead, he mentions designs he likes, like the new Range Rover and Land Rover Defender, Renault's overall strategy, and Lucid.

As mentioned earlier, Ingenlath wants to see more class in future designs. He's likely referring to the old-school definition of the word, which we commonly refer to as elegant.

"Generally, the Scandinavian style is more along those lines," said Ingenlath. "As much as sustainability questions become much more relevant, different generations actually are asking more and more for that. It's definitely something that is changing. What was hip yesterday might suddenly look very old."

Looking at the design of the Polestar 1, you have to agree with the man. It's arguably one of the best-looking cars ever made, even though it's one of the oldest body styles in the automotive world.

2020-2021 Polestar 1 Frontal Aspect Polestar
2020-2021 Polestar 1 Aft View Polestar
2020-2021 Polestar 1 Rear View Polestar
2020-2021 Polestar 1 Forward View Polestar
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Upcoming Polestar models are a bit more radical but not enough to be off-putting. Polestar has never been shy about admitting that it's a design-led company, which, according to Ingenlath, has worked well in the USA, Europe, and South Korea.

"Design is a big thing that works worldwide, that's for sure," explained the CEO. "The quality of how the car drives are, of course, a more European and US thing. In Asia, it's not necessarily that much of a topic that makes you a star there."

Though he runs a high-end automotive company these days, Ingenlath was inspired by ordinary cars in his formative years: "It's really the day-to-day designs that were on the street then. I'm not so much into the supercar thing. I always have my imaginary collection of bread-and-butter cars. That would be things like the Renault R4, the VW Beetle and bus, and the Citroen GS."

Given his affinity for elegant design and affordable cars, we guess Ingenlath is likely taking a dig at Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, and a host of oversized SUVs with massive grilles and aggressive looks.

2019-2021 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Front View Driving Rolls-Royce
Side Angle Driving Mercedes-Benz
2019-2022 Lamborghini Urus Front Angle View Lamborghini
Front View Driving Bentley
Source Credits: Top Gear

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