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Detroit show: Volvo looks to future with XC Coupe

Design tips: The XC Coupe is the second of three concepts Volvo has designed to give a glimpse at its future design direction.

Next-gen XC90 previewed with Volvo’s XC Coupe Detroit show car

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Volvo logo14 Jan 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

VOLVO’S has previewed its long overdue XC90 SUV replacement with the stylish XC Coupe concept officially unveiled at the Detroit motor show overnight.

The second in Volvo’s trio of concepts that kicked off with the sleek Concept Coupe from last year’s Frankfurt motor show, the two-door four-seat XC Coupe provides an glimpse at the design of the XC90 that will surface in production form later this year, possibly at the Paris motor show.

Designed using elements of the Concept Coupe, the XC Coupe features similar T-shaped daytime running lights, a large rectangular ‘floating’ grille, front air intakes and a long nose.

The big 21-inch wheels, chunky wheel-arches, high roofline and higher ground clearance ensure there is no mistaking it for anything other than a crossover.

This is further enhanced with the inclusion of skid plates, and side mouldings that have been given a modern twist.

From the rear, the concept features a wide shoulder-line and bull-horn shaped tail-lights that look to the future while still referencing the current generation XC90 that launched in Australia almost 11 years ago.

Volvo said in a statement that the design team – led by Volvo Car Group senior vice president of design Thomas Ingenlath – was inspired by modern sports equipment and that it is likely appeal to people who lead an active lifestyle.

The concept is also being used to show off the Swedish car-maker’s new Scaleable Product Architecture (SPA), which will allow the company to build everything from smaller passenger cars to large SUVs like the XC90.

“The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is another demonstration of what our new architecture is capable of. It brings us a bit closer to the all-new XC90. But it goes without saying that a three-row, seven-seater will have a larger and fuller look than this four-seater. Volvo Concept XC Coupé is more of a Cross Country version of a sleek sports wagon,” said Mr Ingenlath.

Mr Ingenlath also said the new architecture will have the ability to produce safer, lighter cars thanks to new technologies used in production.

“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.

“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.”

New safety technologies will feature heavily in the production XC90, with further development of the company’s pedestrian and cyclist collision warning systems, but as GoAuto reported last year, Volvo is unlikely to fit the next-gen SUV with the pedestrian-protecting bonnet airbags found in the V40 hatch.

The Swedish brand has already confirmed it will incorporate driverless technology into its new architecture, with some of this tech likely to end up in the XC90, the first vehicle produced using the architecture.

With a possible Paris show debut for the production-ready XC90, expect a local release sometime in early 2016.

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