The first design by the new Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath, signals a new design direction for Volvo’s future models.
The aesthetic language is defined by clean, well balanced surfaces – influenced by contemporary Scandinavian lifestyle – combined with distinctive proportions and shapes that aim at confering an iconic look.
Designers took inspiration from the Volvo of the 1960’s and more in particular from the P1800, in particular for the proportions and for the front end with the floating grille and the cow horns.
The result is an original and effective look that doesn’t follow the current mainstream trends, as Thomas Ingenlath explains: “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”
The Concept Coupe is the first car built on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) a platform developed in-house exclusively for Volvo cars that allow designers more freedom compared to the previous cross-brand platforms.
Debuting at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Concept Coupe is the first of a series of three concept cars representing the next generation of Volvo models, starting with the forthcoming New Volvo XC90 in 2014.
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,” comments Thomas Ingenlath.
The face of the Volvo Concept Coupe is characterised by a new topography on the hood 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.
The interior is super-clean and characterized by a contrasting mix of craftsmanship and technology. The exclusive materials include a leather instrument panel, hand-carved inlays made of naturally aged wood, woven carpets from Kasthall and a gear-leaver of handcrafted Swedish crystal.
“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.
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 Volvo Concept Coupe has a plug-in hybrid powertrain, featuring a two-litre gasoline engine with a supercharger and turbo coupled with an electric motor, for a total output of around 400 horsepower.
The Scalable Product Architecture is 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.