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Volvo S80 Storm: The Perfect Storm

In our country, more and more interesting machines appear, deprived of the attention of Western studios. One of the latest works of St. Petersburg designers – exterior tuning for the Volvo S80, unique from both artistic and commercial points of view.

In our country, more and more interesting machines appear, deprived of the attention of Western studios. One of the latest works of St. Petersburg designers – exterior tuning for the Volvo S80, unique from both artistic and commercial points of view.

“A-Design” for a long time left on the path of external tuning cars of foreign production. The first experiments were carried out on used cars, but there were no problems with the quality of the plastic elements or installing them on the car – the technology was worked out for a long time, and almost did not differ from the western one. Moreover, there were no complaints about the updated appearance of the machines. On the contrary, the first signs of “A-Design” – ennobled BMWs in the E34 and “Audi” A4 – attracted a lot of attention. These cars were at the peak of popularity among representatives of the so-called middle class, but because of the appearance of more recent models, they were already beginning to become obsolete morally.

Over time, those wishing to donate to the exterior of five or seven year old cars the “second youth” became more and more, and more and more modern cars drove into A-Design boxes. In 2002, the first order for external tuning finally appeared for two absolutely new cars, and not from a private individual, but from the Atlant-M Baltika car dealership, the official Opel dealer in Peterburg. The A-Design stylists who received complete creative freedom and two “Astra” turned these cars into futuristic cars and demonstrated them at the next motor show.

Stylized “Astra” had the expected commercial success, both cars “left” the salon next week, “A-Design” received an order to finalize the next “Opel” (now “Vectra”) and acquired another corporate client – the largest dealer in St. Petersburg Volvo brands by Swed Mobil.

The management of Swed Mobil was well aware that the external tuning of a new car would not bring commercial benefits, however, as an image step, it would be able to attract the attention of consumers and it would be beneficial to select Swed Mobil from a number of dealers. The task was completely different from the wishes of Opel dealers. It was necessary to create a unique look for the Volvo S80, which would have “surpassed” the proposals of foreign studios. Work on the project, called “Storm”, lasted longer than usual. Swed Mobil was very scrupulous about the future appearance of the car, so many changes were made to the original sketches. As a result, the artists of A-Design did not just surpass themselves: according to the joint artistic council of Swed Mobil, they went much further than the Swedish court studio TME or the Austrians from MS Design, offering rather boring body kits.

When the model of the car was finally approved and the technicians set to work, representatives of Swed Mobil quite often looked into the pits where the car stood and took a lively part in the process. It took three weeks to create, assemble and install the elements, after which the tuned car took its place in the interior of Swed Mobil.

The reaction of the visitors made it clear that the decision to “charge” the car externally was correct. The appearance of the Volvo Storm makes admiring look at her even representatives of competing salons. The abundance of smooth and completely unexpected lines makes the car look like a concept car. Thresholds came out especially unconventional – not modest, like in TME, not massive, like in MS Design, and not even such “man-made” that A-Design itself usually created. Being in complete stylistic unity with the pads on the front and rear bumpers, the thresholds seem to be divided in two by a hot wave that melted the plastic. The front bumper also looks unusual – due to the large number of decorative edges and a wide chrome grid installed in a low “skirt”. The spoilers on the roof and trunk lid are so organic and thoughtful that many visitors to the salon take them for standard elements. There are also “cilia” of the front optics, consisting of not one, but two separate parts. Externally, the package turned out to be sporting and representative at the same time, which is not always possible to achieve even with venerable Western stylingers.

However, visual uniqueness is not all. For the first time in the history of domestic tuning, the customer purchased the rights to distribute a package of improvements. Under the contract, Swed Mobil is now the sole owner of Storm plastic, and it only depends on the will of his management whether this kit will be replicated or the future owner of the S80 will leave the cabin on the world’s only car with such an unconventional appearance.

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