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According to the Swedish carmaker, the new Volvo XC60 was made as an urban ride built on the carmaker’s latest platform and powertrain. Volvo’s first Korean designer Lee Jung-hyun focused on coming up with a sophisticated Swedish luxury look for the new XC60.

Volvo - Made By People - Jung Hyun Lee

“While maintaining the essence of the first generation of the XC60, I wanted to make it more dynamic and sexy,” Lee Jung-hyun said at the event. “I was selected as a finalist with my design sketch, which I believe is because I shared the same vision for the XC60 with Design Chief Thomas Ingenlath,” he added.

The height of the car has been lowered by 55 millimeters but its length and width were increased by 45 and 10 millimeters respectively, giving the midsize SUV a more stable yet dynamic exterior.

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“I imagined a constrained but muscular athlete when designing the car,” Lee Jung-hyun said. Lee, 38, is the first Korean designer at Volvo, as well as the senior designer that led the design team behind the new best-selling model XC60.

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Lee, who currently works as a senior designer at the headquarters of the Swedish car manufacturer, studied mechanical engineering at a university in South Korea, but went to study abroad in Sweden to pursue his dream to become an automotive designer, a bold move that led him to land a job at Volvo in 2010.

Since then, Lee competed with some 30 other designers at the Swedish car manufacturer before being given the opportunity to lead the design of the all-new XC60 which has come back fully changed after 8 years.

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The up and coming South Korean designer says his design philosophy can be described as ‘Lagom’, a Swedish word which means ‘not too much, not too little, but just enough,’ and the design of the new Volvo XC60 reflects Lee’s belief.

“I tried to show influences from the Scandinavian sentiment, while respecting the activeness and elegance of the XC60 series. I wanted to design a car that is timeless and not affected by trends much,” Lee said.

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From the bonnet, the upward beltline that connects to the back of the car, coupled with the vehicle’s roofline and the D pillar that add to speediness, all contributed to the XC60’s dynamic and strong image.

Lee says when he saw the first generation of the XC60 series, it reminded him of Korean bows, and thought of coming up with designs that would work with South Korean consumers.

“I thought of the kind of cars my friends, my father and I would want to ride in hopes of better sales performance in the South Korean market. I believe the mixture of the Swedish brand’s design philosophy and the South Korean sensibility will prove competitive,” Lee said.

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The 2018 XC60 will be offered in three powertrain options including a 2.0-liter turbo-four in the T5, a 2.0-liter super- and turbocharged I-4 in the T6, and a 400-hp plug-in hybrid that couples the T6’s engine to an electric motor.

Expect the base 2.0-liter turbo-four to be rated around 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with the super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 checking in at 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic transmission should be the only gearbox available across the entire lineup. Volvo also says that the lighter and smaller XC60 plug-in hybrid should be able to travel more miles in EV mode compared to the heavier XC90.

Available features include a large digital multi-information display replacing traditional gauges, leather upholstery, a Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, LED headlights, Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system with a portrait-style 9-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and a panoramic sunroof.

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