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by Tim Beissmann

The Volvo Concept Coupe has been revealed, giving us our first look at the Swedish manufacturer’s assertive new design language.

Volvo says the elegant Concept Coupe is the first of three concept vehicles that will reveal the design potential of the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which is destined to underpin its next-generation medium and large passenger cars and SUVs.

The Concept Coupe is the first creation of Volvo Car Group’s new head of design, Thomas Ingenlath, who says its showcases how design builds emotion into the Volvo brand and points to its production car future, beginning with the all-new XC90 due in 2014.

“The Volvo Concept Coupe is no futuristic dream car,” Ingenlath said. “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.”

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Ingenlath says the Concept Coupe shows what Volvo’s design and engineering teams are capable of when liberated from the limitations of previous cross-brand platforms.

“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,” he said.

While representing the brand’s future, Ingenlath says the Concept Coupe also takes inspiration from the iconic P1800, insisting that “it is a car designer’s duty to reflect and incorporate design signatures that are vital parts of the company’s heritage”.

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The Concept Coupe features classic sports car cues, incorporating a long, low bonnet; set back dashboard, greenhouse and driving position; flowing roofline; and corner-mounted 21-inch alloy wheels.

Volvo’s signature strong beltline wraps around the whole car, emphasising the concept’s confident stance.

T-shaped LED daytime running lights embedded in the headlights flank a vertical-slatted radiator grille, while C-shaped tail-lights cut distinctive new lines at the rear.

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The cabin blends handcrafted leather, machines metal, naturally aged wood and woven carpets in a layout that oozes modernity and sophistication. A sparkling crystal gearshifter, large portrait touchscreen and head-up display are among the highlights.

Volvo says all SPA models will be prepared for completely autonomous driving. It plans to introduce autonomous steering functions in 2014 before offering fully autonomous technology before 2020.

The Concept Coupe teams Volvo’s new supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E 2.0-litre petrol engine with a rear-mounted electric motor, giving it a total output of approximately 300kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

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The Volvo Concept Coupe will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show on September 10.




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