Only when form and function are in harmony can one talk of truly successful design. HEICO SPORTIV has spent decades perfecting this skill and acquiring a profound understanding of Volvo’s DNA.
Regarding the vehicle in its entirety is paramount in the design process; that’s why HEICO SPORTIV body elements never stand out as attachments or later fixtures. The key here is twofold: to design parts – like the front spoiler, rear diffuser or an entire bodykit – that seamlessly melt into the overall design concept; and the ability to specifically highlight prominent style elements. Often, success lies in the detail that perfects the product in the first place. Whichever truth holds, the Volvo’s beholder will perceive harmony and homogeneity from every perspective.
HEICO SPORTIV products are created entirely by an in-house product development team assisted by external suppliers. Its spectrum ranges from the first sketches, renderings and clay models to CAD engineering and model / mold construction.
But initially, all we’ve got is an idea... and a blank sheet of paper. Various ideas and perspectives are first sketched out in freehand drawings that also identify the emotionality and vibrancy of the vehicle. Once the design phase is complete, it is followed by a draft refinement and photorealistic animation. A detailed, half-side clay mock-up is constructed on the actual vehicle and modeled until it fulfills all expectations of the scrupulously defined HEICO SPORTIV design language; only then is it digitized in a complex scanning process to prepare the data and virtualize the model using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software.
For the latest Volvo XC90, HEICO SPORTIV struck hitherto new paths using end-to-end digitization for the entire development process. The parts were therefore already available for the market launch and could be directly tested in situ. This product development approach precisely mirrors that of the carmakers, and guarantees maximum fitting precision and surface quality.
But design is just one aspect: to ensure straightforward assembly later on, we also consider details such as original fastenings (e.g. clips and bolts) for the HEICO SPORTIV tuning component.
The specimen mold can now be machined and the prototype part laminated. The COP test part is fitted to the vehicle and checked for fitting accuracy and peripheral functionality such as air ducts and towing fixtures. Only then can the final production mold for series production be signed off. The first series part will roll off the production line around 4 to 6 weeks later, after tool completion.
At this time, bilingual assembly instructions and the entire documentation for parts certification and ABE application are prepared. If relevant, the obligatory crash tests needed for homologating front area-mounted accessories are also conducted under the latest pedestrian protection guidelines. These involve firing a legform impactor at the fixture in a ballistic curve to measure acceleration, deflection and shear.
The fixture material is also decisive for fitting precision and surface quality. HEICO SPORTIV’s exterior parts are manufactured in PUR-R in a complex RIM process. PUR (polyurethane) is a hard, homogenous material which can be manufactured for small wall thicknesses. One of its outstanding properties is its intense resilience attributed to its high impact resistance and high tensile strength. So-called PUR-RIM parts are used wherever safety, longevity, and impact and shock resilience are needed. PUR (Polyurethane) refers to the plastics or synthetic resins used to manufacture the component, while R (Reinforced) and RIM (Reaction Injection Molding) describe the manufacturing process.