Following the debut of its Concept Coupe or the “next-generation P1800” as it is rumored, Volvo premieres the sophisticated Concept XC Coupe. The second of three concept vehicles to be introduced, this two-door hatchback-styled automobile is inspired by the modern high-tech sports equipment used by its proposed drivers. The four-seater XC Coupe features a mature, yet engaging appearance that supports its very capable and safe driving functions. To provide a little more insight into its purposeful design, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath sits down to discuss a few key points to the Concept XC Coupe.
Your design direction is based on the core virtues of Scandinavian Design. What’s the connection for the Volvo Concept XC?
Outdoor activities are an important part of the Swedish lifestyle. Your leisure time is dedicated to enjoying life. And your Volvo must of course support this desire. Our XC models express this by blending expressive style, generous functionality, All Wheel Drive capability and world-class safety. We will continue to refine Volvo’s strong connection to outdoor activities with more emphasis on modern materials. It’s about making functionality an emotional experience. Just like high-tech sport gear, our cars will blend attractive design and sophistication with strength and intelligent capability.
Can safety really be fun?
Being protected is a good feeling. Having the right gear – in this case the car – builds peace of mind and confidence. This in turn enables you to fully enjoy your drive and your adventure. This is perfectly in harmony with our human-centric approach and exceptionally strong heritage. It is exciting to create a new design expression that supports established brand values as well as the repositioning towards a more emotional, distinctive premium brand.
How does the aim to be a world-leader in safety affect you and the design team?
The new architecture liberates both us and the engineers from the limitations of previous cross-brand platforms. SPA enables us to create the great proportions that are important to achieve a premium look. The engineers can solve the safety challenges with a more extensive use of high-strength boron steel and a new ingenious electrical architecture.
Which are the most the most prominent new design signatures?
Every strong brands needs a set of visual keys that makes it unique. Future Volvos will be characterised by the distinctive iron mark in the floating grille, flanked by the T-shaped DRL lights. The larger bonnet with its new topography, the beltline spanning an elegant bow along the whole car and the sharpened shoulder connecting with the new rear light are other important design signatures. They all contribute to the confident stance. The overall simplicity, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the Scandinavian lifestyle.
Volvo Concept XC today, the all-new XC90 in 2014. How similar are they?
The Volvo Concept XC in another demonstration of what our new architecture is capable of. It brings us a bit closer to the all-new XC90. But it goes without saying that a three-row, seven-seater will have a larger and fuller look than this four-seater. The Volvo Concept XC is more of a Cross Country version of a sleek sports wagon.