New one-of-one Volvo for South Africa by Mzansi fashion icon Rich Mnisi

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Nov 9, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - At last year's Festival of Motoring in Johannesburg, we were introduced to a rather special Volvo called "The Beast". Now, the Swedish company has unveiled that car's baby brother, just for South Africa.

The Beast that wowed the crowds at the Festival of Motoring has been joined by an equally sensational customised Volvo XC40 that celebrates the company’s #HiddenGem campaign.

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

One-of-a-kind Volvos for South Africa

The stylish and unique vehicle – customised in partnership with South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi – was revealed at a brunch hosted by Volvo Car South Africa and champagne lifestyle brand GH Mumm at the newly opened #HiddenGem, Pablo restaurant, in Mint Hotel, Sandton. This is the first time that Volvo has collaborated with Mnisi.

According to Charmagne Mavudzi, Head of Consumer Experience at Volvo Car South Africa, 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 notes.

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.

More on the #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 explains.

The brunch was attended by Rich Mnisi, Volvo ambassadors Jessica Nkosi and Zuraida Jardine, alongside other celebrities such as Boity Thulo and Sivu Madikana. These are all typical buyers of the award-winning XC40, as the brand grows in popularity amongst well-heeled South Africans. “Despite the pandemic, Volvo retail sales in South Africa during July were outstanding, with the company doubling its volumes versus June 2020,” notes 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,” concludes Mavudzi.

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