Volvo is on a roll. After winning the ‘most improved style direction’ award here at CarRevsDaily last month for the Frankfurt VCC two-door, the Swedish team’s new style looks even closer to reality on the latest XC concept.
The redesigned Volvo XC90 is so important to the future well-being of Sweden’s auto industry: it is hard to overstate how much is riding on the shoulders of this summer’s newest seven-seat crossover.
The XC90 is currently a fantastic truck with good dynamics, a great ride, and everything from four-cylinder diesels to the smooth Yamaha V8 engine.
The XC Coupe is obviously a two-door off-roader. But imagine this exact nose and tail, plus four doors and a bit less auto show glam: and you’ve got your family a very handsome and comfy new crossover.
Even more promising? The XC Coupe Concept is a plug-in hybrid, which bodes well for the PHEV tech to join the XC90 range.
Families love the XC90 for its subtle style, fantastic versatility, and great road comfort over the years the XC90 has become Volvo’s biggest earner in history.
So where has the replacement been all this time? Many expected it to arrive in 2012, but the dates have continually been pushed back.
My theory is that truck needed a full redesign after the 2010 S60 fell flat. Totally new design is a big undertaking for a relative lightweight of a company – but better late/right than early/wrong.
So the new XC90 will be completely fresh both versus its predecessor as well as versus the rest of the Volvo model lineup.
Sensus ConnectedTouch is evolving rapidly since being introduced last year to replace the previous Ford-derived nav setups that were becoming an eyesore on Volvos and Aston Martin supercars.
While Aston went with updated Garmin graphics that are still very off-the-pace, Volvo is diving into tech integration full-steam ahead.
Seamless Pandora streaming is said to be in the cards for the latest Sensus Connected setup, which is a very pretty and stylized interface for controlling the Volvo’s settings, media, and navigation.
Climate continues with Volvo’s smart and clever people-shaped fan directions and knobs, while the rest of the production-spec interior will be quite luxurious.
No timetables are given on the real model’s arrival: but this is it to perhaps 99% of the details up front and in back.
My estimate is by June at the earliest, and September 2014 at the latest for the production 2015 XC90 to arrive in American Volvo dealers.
When the new XC90 does join the XC60 as Volvo’s primary U.S. money-makers, it should be a big success with style like the XC Coupe Concept for Detroit.
Show below: Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s new design director, with his initial sketches of the XC Coupe and VCC.
Official Release from Volvo below.
The Volvo Concept XC Coupé:
— Sophisticated capability and contemporary safety, inspired by modern sports equipment
The second of Volvo’s three concept cars is the new Volvo Concept XC Coupé. Inspired by the design of modern sports equipment and demonstrating the safety capabilities of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture, it is a sophisticated and capable car for people with an active lifestyle.
“Those who love gravity sports freely seek new thrills and challenges. To ensure that they make it back in one piece, they prefer high-performance equipment that offers the ultimate sense of freedom and protection,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.
“The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is perfectly in tune with this active lifestyle. Its capability and protection is cleverly integrated into the sophisticated looks. Concept XC Coupé is ready and willing to bring you into the adventure zone and back,” he adds.
— Sleeker and safer at the same time
The three concept cars are designed to demonstrate vital elements of the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA): the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures.
“Concept XC Coupé also shows how clever engineering makes it possible for us to reinforce our world-leading safety without compromising design, size or weight. Thanks to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel and structures with new, ingenious decoupling, we can make SPA cars more compact and safer at the same time,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
The two-door, four-seater Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection with its sibling, the Volvo Concept Coupé. However, the larger 21-inch wheels, the more accentuated wheel-arches and the taller roofline all contribute to a more robust impression and a fuller, capable look.
The extended distance between the dashboard and the front axle is still a very powerful visual element. The capable stance is emphasized by details such as the new bonnet and a beltline that spans an elegant bow along the length of the car.
— High-tech sport gear
The connection with modern, high-tech sports gear is highly present in the concept car. Among the sources of inspiration for the design team is the Swedish company POC, which develops high-tech protective gear for gravity sports athletes.
“Several orange details and exterior graphics in combination with bold use of matte rubber mouldings, which cover the rear end of the car, add to the highly functional expression of the design,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
To strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality, the design team has also given traditional SUV elements, such as side moldings and skid plates, a modern interpretation. They are more integrated into the sleek design, flush with the surrounding body areas.
— T-shaped DRL lights
Just like Volvo Concept Coupé, the face of the Volvo Concept XC Coupé is characterised by a new topography on the bonnet and the ‘floating’ grille, flanked by headlights featuring new T-shaped DRL light guides. The rear light signature is also a distinctive element in the new design direction of Volvo Cars.
“Both concept cars show how we can shape our cars from now on. We add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
— Building on a proud XC heritage
Volvo Cars paved the way for a completely new segment by introducing the V70 Cross Country in 1997. The range has been continuously developed and extended since then. Presently, it spans from the Volvo V40 Cross Country, via the XC60 and XC70, to the XC90.
“With the Volvo Concept XC Coupé, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.