There's something inescapably right about a Swedish car with a set of skis on its roof. It doesn't matter if it's a Jurassic-era Volvo Amazon, a Saab 900 Turbo, or even a Koenigsegg Agera R. Surely it's some sort of Scandinavian birthright... right along with immaculate complexion. The latest to carry on that tradition in fine form? The Volvo Concept XC Coupe, just released at this week's Detroit Auto Show.

The two-door, four-seat XC Coupe rolled onto stage here at Cobo pre-outfitted with a matching ski box, looking sharp on its 21-inch wheels. According to Volvo, the box isn't an afterthought – in fact, the XC Coupe's design itself was "inspired by modern sports equipment."

As for the rest of the concept's genetic makeup, at this point, we don't have much to go on. Volvo has admitted that the XC Coupe rides atop its new boron-steel-intensive Scalable Product architecture, but it has declined to outline any sort of powertrain details. even though we did notice a "plug-in hybrid" badge over the driver-side front wheel. We're not sure if this showcar has any production future, but we do expect for its design language to inform the next-generation XC90 crossover.
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THE VOLVO CONCEPT XC COUPÉ: SOPHISTICATED CAPABILITY AND CONTEMPORARY SAFETY, INSPIRED BY MODERN SPORTS EQUIPMENT

The second of Volvo's three concept cars is the new Volvo Concept XC Coupé. 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 Concept XC Coupé 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 two-door, four-seater Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection with its sibling, the Volvo Concept Coupé. 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.

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.

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 Concept Coupé, the face of the Volvo Concept XC Coupé 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 Concept XC Coupé, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude," says Thomas Ingenlath.


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  • 16 Comments
      Fred69
      • 11 Months Ago
      Build it! Build it! Build it!
      waddup
      • 11 Months Ago
      love it
      Shiftright
      • 11 Months Ago
      Understatedly sexy
      L1011
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm sure I'll get down voted up the wazoo, but this atrocity is what happens when a Chinese company buys an automaker. Concept or not, this thing is hideous.
      bud_buddy2
      • 11 Months Ago
      Volvo, in my mind, is sitting on a razors edge.. between a major resurgence and being a sad old story. Nice show cars lately, but only actual new product will tip them to success. If they can't replace the ancient XC-90 and S-80 this year it may be too late. Saab put out some lovely concepts too.
        Justin Shaw
        • 11 Months Ago
        @bud_buddy2
        When GM got rid of Saab, they themselves were running into financial trouble. The real beauty of the Chinese owning Volvo is the engineering they are basically gaining access too without them having to develop themselves.
      Britt Benston
      • 11 Months Ago
      Really sophisticated and well-proportioned. The first three door crossover I actually "get" when I look at it.
      Robbie
      • 11 Months Ago
      Stop teasing us with all these hot concepts and give us production specs!
      Sixten.Sason
      • 11 Months Ago
      The second (in my opinion utterly beautiful) Thomas Ingenlath Volvo concept in six months. They just need to get on and build the things now. As bud_buddy2 says, Saab made some lovely concepts too, although Volvo's owners do seem a little more sympathetic than was GM in later years.
      Ryan Andrew Martin
      • 11 Months Ago
      Volvo is on a roll.
      cpmanx
      • 11 Months Ago
      Use of a common architecture for all of Volvo's mid- and full-size vehicles should in principle allow them to replace many of their vehicles in rapid succession. And boy do they need it: The XC90, S80, and V70 (aka XC70) are all way past their sell-by date. Sure would be cool to see the next-gen C30/V40 in the US, too. Until proven otherwise, I'm optimistic that the combination of Volvo's engineers and Geely's financing can revive the brand. The new styling direction looks promising, though inevitably the shocking sexiness of the Concept C gets watered down as it morphs into a more realistic, CUV-type shape. I like a lot of the details here, but the upward rake in the beltline behind the B-pillar reminds me a bit too much of the Chevy Traverse.
      ThatsHowIRoll
      • 11 Months Ago
      I qualify as a Volvo fanboy, but jeez Volvo, throw me a bone and show some pictures of it without that ghastly ski-box on the roof. It looks great otherwise.
      paulwesterberg
      • 11 Months Ago
      What is that box on top? Not even big enough for a snowboard. Useless.
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