Volvo pulled the wraps off the Concept XC Coupe at the NAIAS in Detroit today. The new SUV concept is the second of three concept cars ushered in to preview the company’s new design language under the direction of Senior Design VP Thomas Ingenlath.
The two-door, four-seat Concept XC Coupe is a showcase for the Swedish automaker’s future design direction as well as the safety characteristics of the Volvo brand.
Drawing on the history of Volvo’s XC range and sourcing inspiration from modern sports equipment, notably from Swedish high-tech sport gear company POC, which develops high-tech protective gear for gravity sports athletes the Concept XC Coupe also features a number of design elements first seen on the Concept Coupe unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show last year.
“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 Ingenlath.
The XC Coupe differs with its fuller hood laid over the front end, which is characterized by a ‘floating’ grille flanked by T-shaped headlamps with DRL light guides as in the Concept Coupe. The rear end design and profile are where the main changes lie. The XC’s powerful haunches and distinctive taillamps and lighting signature lends the car its confident stance and imbues the SUV with different character than its Coupe predecessor.
With a long-dash-to-axle ratio, which adds visual length ahead of the windscreen, the XC Coupe’s powerful proportions are accentuated when viewed in profile. This is further demarcated by a beltline that appears as an elegant bow along the length of the car, underlining the shallow glass area above. Sitting on the large 21-inch wheels, the Concept XC Coupe’s wheelarches and its taller roofline contribute its capable, rugged yet sophisticated look.
As expected of an SUV, the XC Coupe aims to strike a 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 concept’s design, flush with the surrounding body areas.
“Several orange details and exterior graphics in combination with bold use of matte rubber moldings, which cover the rear end of the car, add to the highly functional expression of the design,” says Ingenlath.
As a whole it’s an aesthetic that’s very visually appealing, stealing the limelight from Audi Shooting Brake Concept, which aims to occupy space in the same compact two-door SUV segment, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Range Rover Evoque.
The Concept XC Coupe also demonstrates the safety capabilities of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture, which underpins the two concept cars shown so far.
“Concept XC Coupe also shows how clever engineering makes it possible for us to reinforce our world-leading safety without compromising design, size or weight,” says Ingenlath. “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.”
But while Volvo’s reputation for safety is reinforced in the Concept XC Coupe, it was designed first and foremost as is a luxurious off-roader with Swedish design values for people with an active lifestyle.
“With the Volvo Concept XC Coupe, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude,” says Ingenlath. “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.”