2014 NAIAS: Volvo XC Coupe Concept channels other shooting brakes
Volvo has released their latest and greatest version of the previously teased XC Coupe Concept. Using their new Scalable Product Architecture platform, this concept is the second in a series of three, which are meant to signal a new chapter in Volvo’s history; the bulk of Volvo’s lineup will use this platform, and perhaps, more importantly for the average consumer, the design principles incorporated in this line of concepts.
Appearing like a lifted and tastefully enlarged C30 from the sky, the XC Coupe is not unlike what other European manufacturers are doing in their efforts to test the waters for soft-roading shooting brakes. Range Rover pulled it off with the two door version of the Evoque and Audi will likely do it with their Allroad Quattro Shooting Brake concept, which is more production car than concept.
For more information, check out the press release after the jump.
– By: Sawyer Sutton
The second of Volvo’s three concept cars is the new Volvo XC Coupé Concept. 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 extreme 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 XC Coupé Concept 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 extended distance between the dashboard and the front axle is still a very powerful visual element. The capable stance is emphasised by details such as the new bonnet and a beltline that spans an elegant bow along the length of the car.The two-door, four-seater Volvo XC Coupé Concept has a strong connection with its sibling, the Volvo Coupé Concept. 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.
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 extreme 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 mouldings 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 the Volvo Coupé Concept, the face of the Volvo XC Coupé Concept 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 XC Coupé Concept, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude,” says Thomas Ingenlath.
All photos © 2014 Sawyer Sutton, egmCarTech.