It seems as if all of Volvo's recent efforts have been leading up to the unveiling of the Concept Coupe. The svelte two-seater is a plug-in hybrid, has a touchscreen-based center console and was built on the company's Scalable Product Architecture, which at some point will allow for autonomous driving. According to Volvo, the gas-and-electric engine achieves "around" 400 horsepower out of a 2-liter motor thanks, in part, to the supercharger and turbo mated to it. The prototype two-door also features a touch-display console that's tied into the car's adaptive digital display as well as a heads-up display. The Swedish automaker tells us this new touchscreen is an evolution of what was seen in the Concept You, which only had five physical buttons in the entire cockpit.Volvo attributes the triumphs of the Concept Coupe and its related tech to the efforts of new Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath. Not a bad showing for his first year on the job, is it?
Volvo Cars unveils its new design direction with the two-seated Concept Coupe
"New design direction injects emotion into Volvo," says Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo's new Senior Vice President of Design
After a year of rising expectations, the first design by the new Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, reveals a bold new design direction from Volvo Cars. The Concept Coupe offers new layers of emotion to Volvo Cars by merging contemporary Scandinavian lifestyle and design with iconic elements from Volvo's 1960's era. The result is a confident gentleman's or gentlewoman's – sports car, characterized by daring proportions, a new face and an interior brimming with exquisite craftsmanship and innovative technology.
"The last few years car design has become increasingly standardized and streamlined, and too
often defined by cluttered and overly complex design. While other brands try too hard to look
luxurious and muscular, Volvo Cars will stand out as the calm, confident and naturally powerful
challenger. We have no ambition to blend in, and the Concept Coupe efficiently manifests how
iconic design will reinforce Volvo's identity, says Thomas Ingenlath.
The Concept Coupe is the first of a series of three concept cars, all in individual ways
representing the next generation of Volvo models, starting with the forthcoming New Volvo XC90
in 2014. It's also the first car built on Volvo's new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Developed in-house for Volvo Cars only, the platform liberates Volvo's designers from the
limitations of previous cross-brand platforms. "This is Volvo unleashed," says Ingenlath.
A calm yet powerful silhouette
The visual impact of the new proportions is most powerful when viewing the Volvo Concept
Coupe from the side. The distance between the dashboard and the front axle is extended and the
greenhouse has been moved slightly rearwards, resulting in a calm, yet powerful stance, oozing
of effortless power. "Think about the powerful calmness of a lion. He doesn't have to prowl to
radiate respect. Even lying down he shows very clearly what he is capable of," smiles Thomas
New face and inspiration from Volvo P1800
The face of the Volvo Concept Coupe is characterised by a new topography on the bonnet and
the 'floating' grille, flanked by new T-shaped DRL headlights – a feature that will be found on all
future Volvos in the upcoming generation. "The face is new, but it also carries more than 85 years
of Volvo heritage with great pride. The floating grill and the cow horns in the lower front are
modern interpretations of design features from the classic Volvo P1800," says Ingenlath.
Authentic craftsmanship meets touch-screen technology
The interior is super-clean and characterized by a contrasting mix of genuine craftsmanship and
bleeding-edge technology. The use of exclusive materials – including a leather instrument panel,
hand-carved inlays made of naturally aged wood, woven carpets from Kasthall and a gear-leaver
of handcrafted Swedish crystal, makes the cockpit a calm place where the driver is allowed to feel
"To me, handcrafted crystal is one of the finest examples of high-quality Scandinavian design and
I love the idea of bringing it into the car. The prominent position of the gear-leaver is the perfect
place for this sparkling sensation," says Robin Page, Design Director Interior.
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, giving the driver full control while being totally connected. "The large
touch-screen allows us to remove traditional buttons and controls, which creates an uncluttered
interior. Integrating user interfaces and bringing connectivity into our new cars make them both
more enjoyable and safe," explains Thomas Ingenlath.
The 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 Cars aim is to have cars with fully autonomous technology out
on the roads before 2020.
Petrol plug-in hybrid bridges luxury with sustainability
The petrol plug-in hybrid driveline in the Volvo Concept Coupe reflects Volvo Cars' strategy to
use electrification to bridge power with sustainability. The concept car features a two-litre petrol
engine with a supercharger and turbo, which teamed with an electric motor, gives Volvo Concept
Coupe a total output of around 400 horsepower.
"The most discerning customers expect 100% driving pleasure and great design, but modern
luxury consumers are also concerned about the environment. Our strategy is to provide nocompromise
cars, that bridges performance with sustainability.