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Past and future are present at Frankfurt
Volvo didn't bring the new XC90 SUV to the Frankfurt Auto Show this year, but they did promise us a whole lot of new cars—including one concept that shows us what to expect from the small Swedish automaker.
We've been in awe of the Volvo Concept Coupe ever since photos first leaked online, and we can assure you it's even more impressive in person. Yes, it's obviously a descendant of the P1800 coupe, an example of which was parked above the concept in Frankfurt.
But it's a lot more: A floating grill and T-shaped daytime running lights (LEDs, of course) mark the new face of Volvo. Inside, there's a large portrait-oriented touchscreen with different connectivity options. It will connect to the driver's display for full integration.
"This is no futuristic dream car," said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo's VP of design. One should be able to "recognize the connection instantly when our new SUV is revealed next year."
The new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) was developed thanks to an $11 billion investment from Volvo's Chinese parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. SPA eschews Volvo's old lineup of five- and six-cylinder engines in favor of four-cylinder gasoline-only and hybrid powerplants, including a plug-in hybrid for the upcoming XC90 due out in 2015.
It also allows for a sea change in the vehicles' visual dynamics.
According to Ingenlath, "SPA is liberating our designers." The new cars will have "soft, gentle curves," with mild angles "like the crease in a pair of trousers."
"There's a strong connection to Scandinavian lifestyle and Scandinavian design," he said. Sure. We just think the Concept Coupe is beautiful.