That mystery concept car that emerged online last weekend has been partly unveiled as the Volvo Concept Coupe through a short video teaser earlier this week. Here it is in full, touted by Volvo as the next-generation P1800 coupe. It’s the first of a series of three concept cars to show off the flexibility of the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Ignore the sleek coupe form for a minute. What you see here will form the basis of Volvo’s short-term future, staring from the forthcoming SPA-based next-generation XC90 flagship SUV in 2014. The bold floating grille design, T-shaped DRLs and thin rear lamps you see here will all be carried over into production starting next year.
Right, now back to the Concept Coupe. Echoing the iconic P1800 from the 1960s – without being shamelessly retro, it must be added – it has a pronounced cab-backward profile, with the greenhouse moved back away from the front axle. It’s imagined as a modern-day luxury grand tourer, and sits very low to the ground, perched over 21-inch five-spoke wheels.
The blue and grey colour scheme extends to the interior too. It features plenty of handcrafted elements such as a leather-covered instrument panel, inlays of naturally-aged wood and a sparkling crystal gear lever. A large vertical touchscreen display takes centre stage, which relays information through to the adaptive digital display and head-up display.
On the safety front, Volvo adds that vehicles built on the SPA platform is also being prepared for completely autonomous driving. The first features with autonomous steering to avoid accidents will be introduced next year – and Volvo aims to have cars with fully autonomous technology before 2020.
Remember Volvo’s claim that its new four-cylinder engines will “turn V8s into dinosaurs?” Here’s the proof, as under the Concept Coupe’s long hood lies a 2.0 litre Drive-E engine paired to a supercharger and a turbocharger. Teamed with an electric motor on the rear axle, the package outputs around 400 hp and 600 Nm of torque. Anybody ordered a Scandinavian hot-rod?