Inspired by Scandinavian design, the new Concept Coupé is the first of three concept cars revealed ahead of its time for the next series of Volvo cars, built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform created by the new Vice President of Design at Volvo, Thomas Ingenlath. These prototypes will be developed further as the springboard for the future XC90 series: a range of entirely different models to the Concept Coupé, due to be unveiled later this year. According to Ingenlath himself, the shapes featured in this prototype “add emotional value to the intrinsic beauty of Scandinavian design”.
The visual impact of the model is best appreciated from the side, due to the large distance between the dashboard and the front axle, whilst an elegant curved arch extends along the middle of the car. These shapes and lines are reminiscent of powerful American muscle cars. The bonnet of the concept car has been completely re-designed, even the characteristic front grille of the Swedish brand (currently still being re-modelled), framed by the new T-shaped daytime running headlights.
The Concept Coupé has not drifted far from the rich heritage provided by older Volvo models; the design includes elements taken from the iconic 1960 P1800 model, which in Ingenlath’s own words constitutes a “subtle link that anchors the prototype in Volvo’s identity”.
Exterior refinement extends to the interior of the car, through the incorporation of aged wood, the leather-trimmed instrument panel and the carpeting, woven in dark-blue. According to Robin Page, the Director of Interior Design at Volvo, this is a perfect example of “how we make Volvo customers feel truly special”. Volvo wants this new model to set the pace for radical changes which will transform driver experience, starting with the inter-connected display screens; the large touch-screen digital display integrated into the dashboard and a second display positioned in front of the driver. The Scalable Product Architecture concept is the first step to fully automated driving; initial advances in areas such as accident prevention technology are anticipated for 2014, whilst Volvo hopes to roll out ‘intelligent’ cars by 2020.