Rebel by Alex Protsenko, USA

2009: Brave + Bold. America’s Next Iconic Vehicle.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Ukrainian-born Alex Protsenko is currently a product designer at Volvo Trucks North America.  Most recently, he was a finalist in the biennial “Stile Italiano Giovani” design competition in Turin, Italy, a showcase of up-and-coming design talent from around the world.

Protsenko discovered his passion for car design early in life, but with no opportunity to study it formally in his homeland, his chances of attaining a design career seemed slight until he moved to the United States at a young age.  Throughout his years of public schooling, he continued to pursue the profession of his dreams, aiming straight for Detroit, where he enrolled in the College for Creative Studies.

He finished his degree at the Coventry School of Art and Design, situated in the heart of England’s own Motor City. While there, Protsenko took part in the development of the Climax supercar recently unveiled by Concept Climax, Ltd. A brief stint as an automotive illustrator during the summer months saw him immortalizing in two dimensions the prized possessions of various individual and business clients.

After graduating from Coventry with honors, Protsenko worked as an intern with Italian design house I.DE.A Institute in Shanghai, China, designing everything from racecars to home appliances for six months. Shortly afterward, he joined Volvo Trucks NA in North Carolina, where he has been since July 2008.


With small, efficient cars rapidly gaining popularity in the USA, the single-seat Rebel off-roader carves a niche of its own with rugged, youthful looks, combining the excitement of riding an ATV with the stability of a Wrangler.  The Rebel offers further benefits over these vehicles – themselves iconic – like high-torque electric motors, “MagTrac” magnetic tires that adapt to different terrain and features that boost safety and structural integrity without compromising form.

In the spirit of adventure, the cockpit and controls are designed to be halfway between those of a car and motorbike.  Sweeping roll bars are part of the functional exterior styling, yielding a robust and purpose-built appearance.  Asymmetric side panels protect the driver, with one serving as a door and the other containing emergency tools and a first-aid kit.  A retractable soft top provides even more open-air driving freedom at the push of a button.  Matte-finish fenders executed in a contrasting color add character to the main body, shield it from debris, and feature integrated LED lights.  Simple forms abound throughout, further underscoring the Rebel’s purpose-driven design.

The motors are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and incorporate generators that power MagTrac with energy derived from spinning wheels.  Helped by lightweight materials, the Rebel capably delivers plenty of performance, thanks in part to its advanced tire technology. It makes a bold statement and defines “sport-activity” in more than just name, while enhancing the American off-roading experience even in the most extreme topography.