People love to bash on the here and now, while reminiscing about a simpler time. Nowhere is that more relevant than in the world of car design, where we always hear arguments about when the “golden age” of automotive styling really was. Well, if you ask Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath when that was, he sure as hell won’t say right now.
In an interview with Top Gear, the Polestar boss gave a scathing assessment of the current automotive landscape. He described most modern cars as “loud” objects that “shout” at passers-by and innocent onlookers.
He said: “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 the people with these expressions. You feel like, ‘Come on, have a certain decency’. Some class would be appropriate.”
He’s far too diplomatic to name and shame the companies churning out “arrogant” cars. But as soon as I read that sentence things like BMW and its ridiculous grille, Toyota and its whole vibe right now and, of course, the obscene Cybertruck all immediately jumped into my mind.
All these marques and their current “overemphasis of expressiveness,” he says, are at odds with the Scandinavian styling his firm has become known for. The eye-catching lines and sharp angles you’ll find on Polestar’s cars are what Ingenlath believes have helped his firm stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, he believes this design philosophy has been key to Polestar’s growth and successes in Europe, the U.S. and South Korea.
“Design is a big thing that works worldwide, that’s for sure,” Ingenlath said. “The quality about how the car drives, that, of course, is a more European and US thing. In Asia, it’s not necessarily that much of a topic that makes you a star there.”
But regardless of the market Polestar is trying to sell in, popular designs and trends are always changing. Meaning that while Polestar’s simplistic styling might stand out today from the oversized grilles and angular accents that are commonplace in other companies today, this could soon change.
“It’s definitely something that is changing,” he says.
Does this mean we’ll one day see streets filled with sleek Scandi-style cars? We can all dream.