The 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe was the first of a series of three concept cars which ushered in a new design direction for the company.
The Volvo Concept Coupe is quite possibly the best-looking Volvo since the curvaceous P1800 coupe from the ’60s and ’70s. Unsurprisingly the Concept Coupe takes its inspiration from that model, although it in no way can be described as retro. It’s clean modern lines look more Germanic if anything, and that’s a compliment of the highest order. It isn’t a dull looking car, but nor is it fussy. It looks powerful and sporty, but it doesn’t resort to lots of vents and spoilers to do so.
The Volvo Concept Coupe is built on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). This means Volvo’s designers were freed from the limitations of previous platforms which were shared with other manufacturers.
Thomas Ingenlath. Volvo’s new Senior Vice President of Design, said of the Concept Coupe: “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 recognise the connection instantly when it is revealed next year. 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.”
Commenting on the Volvo Concept Coupe’s connection with the P1800 he continued: “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,”
On the inside the Volvo Concept Coupe is equally stylish. It’s super-sleek and modern, verging on the futuristic. Refined, handcrafted elements such as the leather instrument panel, inlays made of naturally aged wood and the dark blue woven carpets are blended with beautifully machined metal details. A large portrait touch-screen in the centre console interacts with an adaptive digital display and head-up display in front of the driver. Not only that but the new Scalable Product Architecture is also being prepared for completely autonomous driving. The first features with autonomous steering to avoid accidents and make driving more comfortable will be introduced in 2014 – and Volvo’s aim is to have cars with fully autonomous technology out on the roads before 2020.
Powering the Volvo Concept Coupe is a gasoline-fueled plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Volvo’s goal is to use electrification to create hybrid 4-cylinder engine / electric motor drivetrains which offer power outputs similar to conventional V8s. In the Volvo Concept Coupe is a two-litre Drive-E gasoline engine fitted with a supercharger and a turbocharger. The engine is paired with an electric motor on the rear axle. This gives Volvo Concept Coupe a total output of around 400 hp and over 600 Nm of torque.