Providing a look at design cues that will influence its next-gen crossover and sport utility models, the Volvo Concept XC Coupe was unveiled in Detroit. Volvo says this second of what will be three innovative one-offs shares much of its mechanical makeup and all-wheel-drive system with the Volvo Concept Coupe first seen in Frankfurt last September. However, this flashy follow-up draws its primary inspiration from modern high-tech sports equipment and presents a more activity-oriented take on the visual and structural themes introduced on the original Coupe.
Like its predecessor, the Concept XC Coupe feature's boldly contoured but surprisingly sleek bodywork and is finished in blue-gray metallic paint, enveloping a Swedish modern-look cabin with individual seats for four. However, where the Coupe recalled Volvo's classic P1800 model, this new 2-door hatch celebrates a clear crossover vibe with its taller roofline, elevated upright hood and aft section, a 21-inch wheel/tire fitment that fills even more prominently flared fenders and a tidier integration of items like its skid plates and roof carrier.
While these two Volvo one-offs share a good deal of common design up front -- including a distinctive floating grille and headlamps with T-shaped LED daytime-running-light guide elements -- the Concept XC Coupe introduces a new LED rear lighting signature that will reportedly influence the design direction of future Volvo production cars. As a final flourish, the Concept XC Coupe features a number of orange exterior graphics as well a the prominent use of matte-black rubber moldings, flourishes influenced by the automaker's recent corporate hook-up with the Swedish firm POC that specializes in developing state-of-the-art protective gear for athletes who participate in various "gravity" sports.
Based on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that underpins the Concept Coupe, the Concept XC Coupe properly complements its innovative exterior with a rugged and robust core structure that ensures both exceptional safety and the ability to incorporate the full spectrum of next-gen electronics. Where the current XC90 is constructed from seven percent hot-formed boron steel, Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group, proudly notes the SPA formula pushes that figure beyond 40 percent. The SPA design also opens the door for the fitment a full range of advanced driver assists, including the XC Coupe's 360-degree surround radar setup as well as future in-vehicle and car-to-car connected communication capabilities.
In summing up the Concept XC Coupe, Ingenlath notes the automaker plans to emphasize its attractive design, sophistication, strength and intelligent capability in future production models in a way that will make functionality part of an emotional experience. We'll have to wait until later this year to see exactly how much of that approach actually filters down into the next-generation Volvo XC90 which is due as a 2015 model.
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