Designer touch: Mzansi’s Mnisi dresses up Volvo Beast’s ‘Baby Brother’

The customised Volvo XC90 — affectionately nicknamed “The Beast” — wowed the crowds at the 2019 SA Festival of Motoring. Following in it’s big brother’s footsteps, an equally sensational customised Volvo XC40 has stepped onto the podium in celebration of the Swedish carmaker’s #HiddenGem campaign.

Rather appropriately, it’s been nicknamed “Beast’s Baby Brother”…

Rich Mnisi Volvo
SA designer Rich Mnisi with the customised Volvo XC40 at its big reveal last week in Sandton. Image: Supplied

Rich Mnisi meets Volvo XC40

The stylish and unique vehicle – customised in partnership with award-winning South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi – was revealed at a brunch hosted by Volvo Car South Africa and GH Mumm at the newly opened #HiddenGem, Pablo restaurant, in Mint Hotel, Sandton, last week.

This is the first time that Volvo has collaborated with Mnisi.

Building on success of The Beast

According to Volvo Car South Africa head of consumer experience Charmagne Mavudzi, the company wanted to build on the success of The Beast.

“The Beast is an XC90 D5 Inscription that – thanks to a series of modifications by the team at Volvo Car South Africa – was transformed into the most extreme XC90 South Africa has ever seen.

“Its matte black wrap and orange accents created a bold visual statement, resulting in a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that looked to many people like it was ready to take on the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic landscape,” she noted.

Volvo XC90 D5
‘Post-apocalyptic Beast’: The customised Volvo XC90 D5 Inscription. Image: Supplied

Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design inspired by Rich Mnisi’s love of nature

Beast’s Baby Brother, on the other hand, is anything but apocalyptic.

The Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design – the city slicker, trendsetter, nameplate for the Swedish brand – has also been fully blacked out. However, it has been double wrapped black-on-black in a zebra-patterned stripe, with green leather door inlays and the designer’s signature logo embossed on the headrests. The R-Design also has a panoramic sunroof and full leather seats.

#HiddenGem campaign

Mavudzi explains that the launch of Beast’s Baby Brother celebrates the start of a local social media campaign by the brand called #HiddenGem.

“#HiddenGem is built around one pertinent idea: That, after all we have been through, summer and the ability to move are more precious than ever before. The need for us to work together to limit the spread of a virus has given our perspective of safety a new meaning.

“This summer we will take to our cars, more than to planes or trains, to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors safely once again. We will do this in order to reunite with family and to revisit our places of importance and meaning – our #HiddenGem,” she explained.

Rise in Volvo SA sales

“Despite the pandemic, Volvo retail sales in South Africa during July were outstanding, with the company doubling its volumes versus June 2020,” noted Yvette Greyvenstein, Head of Commercial Operations at Volvo Car South Africa.

“And, with the reveal of Beast’s Baby Brother, we predict that the brand’s popularity will only grow even further,” concluded Mavudzi.