Volvo revealed pictures and details about a new hybrid concept inspired by its iconic P1800 sports car.
Named Volvo Concept Coupé, it is the first of a series of three concept cars that will reveal the numerous design possibilities created by the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
“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. 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,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Design.
Developed in-house for Volvo Cars only, the company said its new Scalable Product Architecture liberates Volvo’s designers and engineers from the limitations of previous cross-brand platforms.
“The new Volvo Concept Coupé reveals how we could shape our cars from now on. 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 gasoline plug-in hybrid driveline in the Volvo Concept Coupé reflects Volvo Cars’ strategy to use electrification to create the most powerful versions in the new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family. According to Volvo, this will take power figures up into V8 territory.
The concept car features a two-liter high-performance Drive-E gasoline engine with a supercharger and turbo. The gasoline engine is teamed with an electric motor on the rear axle. This gives Volvo Concept Coupé a total output of around 400 horsepower.
The face of the Volvo Concept Coupé is characterized by a new topography on the hood and the ‘floating’ grille, flanked by headlights featuring new T-shaped DRL light guides.
“The face is new, but it also carries more than 85 years of Volvo heritage with great pride. We are still working with the final interpretation of the grille and the iron mark and this will be revealed together with the XC90 next year,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The Concept Coupé also features elements that echo the design of the Volvo P1800 from the 1960s. The grille itself, with its black, vertical slats curved towards the engine are inspired by the ‘60s sports car Volvo named P1800.
“It is a car designer’s duty to reflect and incorporate design signatures that are vital parts of the company’s heritage. The P1800 is an iconic Volvo, renowned for its beautiful forms and detailing. However, using elements from the P1800 exterior and interior has nothing to do with being retro. We are using these subtle links to a glorious past to create a future where sheer beauty becomes a recognised part of Volvo’s identity. That journey starts with Concept Coupé,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The concept car also includes a totally new approach to Volvo Cars’ human-centric user experience. A large portrait touch-screen in the centre console interacts with an adaptive digital display and head-up display in front of the driver.
“This is a natural integration of user interfaces in our new car generation. Interaction with pleasure but without distraction is the key. We bring connectivity into our cars to make them both more enjoyable and safe,” explains Thomas Ingenlath.
The Scalable Product Architecture is, per Volvo, also being prepared for completely autonomous driving.
The company said the first features with autonomous steering to avoid accidents and make driving more comfortable will be introduced in 2014 – and Volvo Cars’ aim is to have cars with fully autonomous technology out on the roads before 2020.