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Volvo Concept Coupe Displays Next-Generation Volvo Design Themes

Volvo Concept Coupe Displays Next-Generation Volvo Design Themes

By Jeff Youngs, September 03, 2013
Volvo Cars is preparing for a re-birth of sorts, having been sold by Ford Motor Company in 2010 to China's Geely Automobile Holdings, Ltd. Free of the cross-brand platform constraints required by its previous owner, Volvo has developed a new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) to use for its future models, and has hired a new senior vice president of design, Thomas Ingenlath. The Volvo Concept Coupe that will grace Volvo's stand at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show is the first vehicle created by Ingenlath and his team that will be shown to the public. It is also the first in a series of concept vehicles designed to demonstrate what Volvo can do with its new SPA platform.

"Free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design," says Thomas Ingenlath. "The Volvo Concept Coupé is no futuristic dream car. It is designed to demonstrate the capability of our new architecture: the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures."

Inspired by contemporary, progressive Scandinavian lifestyle and design, the Concept Coupe incorporates iconic Volvo elements and displays key design signatures that the automaker will apply to all of its products. They include the Concept Coupe's T-shaped daytime running lights, floating grille, hood contours, bow-shaped beltline, sharpened shoulders, and new taillight designs. Volvo is also working on a new "iron mark" Volvo badge, in time for the first production model to wear the new styling themes, the completely redesigned 2015 XC90.

"Even though the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year," says Ingenlath.

The Concept Coupe takes inspiration from the classic Volvo P1800, according to the automaker. A grand touring car, the Concept Coupe displays extended distance between the front axle and the dashboard, a greenhouse that has been moved rearward, and a low roofline. The Concept Coupe sits on 21-inch aluminum wheels.

Inside, designers employ a leather-wrapped dashboard, naturally-aged wood inlays, machined metal trim, and a sparkling crystal gear shift lever. As is increasingly common, the center console contains a large touch-screen display, and the Concept Coupe is equipped with adaptive digital instrumentation and a head-up display for the driver.

Under its long hood, the Volvo Concept Coupe is equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The automaker is developing a new Drive-E engine family employing electrified 4-cylinder gasoline engines to create the power of a V-8 combined with short-range EV operation and enhanced fuel economy. In the Concept Coupe, a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the front wheels, while an electric assist motor powers the rear wheels. Combined, the powertrain delivers an estimated 400 horsepower and more than 440 lb.-ft. of torque.

In addition to developing a new family of hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, Volvo has developed its SPA platform with the expectation that the future includes completely autonomous driving. The company will introduce an autonomous steering system in 2014, and plans to market fully autonomous cars by 2020.

Moving forward, Volvo said it wants its future vehicles to exhibit "rational properties with added emotional value." For example, the company's focus on safety will move beyond providing protection in worst-case scenarios to creating systems that prevent them in the first place. Environmental goals will be achieved through lower emissions and greater fuel economy. Functionality will go beyond what is practical to what the company calls "human-centric" features designed to make life easier.

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