Marvel’s superhero randomly shows up in an image Volvo released Aug. 28 as it introduced the look of the company’s new design aesthetic that will migrate over to many of its future vehicles down the road. The Concept Coupe will be shown off at Germany’s Frankfurt Motor Show mid-September.
In the image (shown below), various items are represented as having influenced the Swedish carmaker’s designers while drawing up the new sports car — including a metal thermos, jet engines, Apple’s ear buds for the iPod and watches. But tossed into the mix is also the Iron Man suit.
This isn’t unusual. Designers often turn to a variety of objects for inspiration. But turning to a superhero signals just how influential Marvel’s characters have become not only in pop culture but also on the road.
What’s interesting is that Volvo has not been associated with any of the three “Iron Man” films Marvel and Disney have produced to date. Audi has been the official car partner on the trilogy, with its cars integrated into the movies.
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Instead, Volvo has backed Summit’s “Twilight” franchise, with appearances in those films.
Volvo makes no reference to Iron Man in its official press release to introduce the car.
Instead, it focuses on the Camaro-like coupe’s connection to its classic P1800 sports car from the 1960s.
“It is a car designer’s duty to reflect and incorporate design signatures that are vital parts of the company’s heritage,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior VP of design. “We are using these subtle links to a glorious past to create a future where sheer beauty becomes a recognised part of Volvo’s identity.”
Yet the front end of the Concept Coupe is said to feature a floating grill with a “distinctive iron mark” and signature T-shaped DRL light guides new to Volvo cars, but common to Iron Man.
“The face is new, but it also carries more than 85 years of Volvo heritage with great pride,” Ingenlath said.
And inside, the concept car also includes a large touch-screen in the center console (similar to the one inside a Tesla) with an adaptive digital display and heads-up display in front of the driver. Again, very reminiscent of what appears inside Iron Man’s helmet.
In introducing the car, Volvo said that the vehicle’s look “reveals how we could shape our cars from now on,” Ingenlath said. “Free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design.”
Volvo was not available to comment on the Iron Man reference at press time.