volvo concept C coupe to debut at frankfurt motor show
all images courtesy volvo
influenced by progressive scandinavian lifestyle and design, the new volvo concept C coupé is the first of a series of three concept cars that reveal the aesthetic direction of the company’s new scalable product architecture department. ‘the new volvo concept coupé reveals how we could shape our cars from now on. free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of scandinavian design,’ says thomas ingenlath, senior vice president of design. set to make its first official appearance at the 2013 frankfurt motor show in september, the vehicle echoes design cues of volvo’s P1800 from the 1960’s.
in terms of performance figures, the plug-in concept will boast around 400 hp and over 443 lb-ft of torque from its supercharged two-liter hybrid engine. up front, the ‘C coupe’ is characterized by a ‘floating’ grille, flanked by headlights that feature volvo’s new T-shaped DRL headlights. ‘the face is new, but it also carries more than 85 years of volvo heritage with great pride.’ says ingelath. ‘we are still working with the final interpretation of the grille and the iron mark and this will be revealed together with the XC90 next year,’ he adds.
thomas ingenlath, senior vice president of design on the new design direction for volvo:
why volvo cars?
everyone that knows me well would agree that volvo is a perfect match for me. I have never been an instant crowd-pleaser who likes fast and loud designs. I am thoughtful. I like to explore the intellectual elements below the surface. if you do that right, the aesthetics will come naturally. volvo is a human-centric brand with an exceptionally strong heritage. it is exciting to create a new design expression that supports the established brand values as well as the repositioning towards a more distinctive premium brand.
what is your view of scandinavian design?
well, since volvo cars is the only remaining automotive brand in sweden, we are by definition the only carmaker that can create original scandinavian design. the challenge is to create a modern, desirable interpretation. to me, scandinavian design according to volvo is firmly rooted in the values of the swedish society and the way of life enabled by this unique environment. our approach goes beyond just bringing scandinavian design items and signatures into our cars. our job is to understand the spirit and the confidence that make scandinavian design so special. then we must translate it into car design.
can you explain the new design direction and approach.
in my opinion, volvo design has always had a certain authority. we aim to extend this calm, intelligent and strong side of our brand with a greater potency, modernity and expressiveness. concept coupé clearly expresses this direction. outdoor activities are an important part of the swedish lifestyle. we will continue to refine volvo’s strong connection to these activities with more emphasis on modernity. it’s about making functionality an emotional experience. just like an exclusive goose down jacket, our cars will have a true feeling of sophistication with an underlying strength and capability. it is also important to recognize that scandinavian design will only be perceived as attractive if it is crafted with precision and attention to detail. meticulous execution and consistent quality are prerequisites to qualify for the premium league of automakers.
what opportunities does the new scalable product architecture create for the designers?
the new architecture enables us to create the great proportions that are important to achieve a premium look. the dash to axle ratio is more generous than any other architecture i have worked with before. this gives us the opportunity to be up there among the top premium brands when it comes to proportions. the hip point is another example of the new opportunities. it is low enough to create a low profile on a sleek sedan without compromising headroom.
which are the most the most prominent new design signatures?
every strong brand needs a set of visual keys that makes it unique. future volvo’s will be characterized 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.
how about the interiors?
we will continue to build on the premium feel in the new volvo v40. the new user interface with a large, portrait touch-screen in the centre console allows us to remove almost all buttons. this simplicity is perfectly in tune with our scandinavian design heritage. it opens up clean surfaces that give us the opportunity to create a luxurious interior experience with new forms.