Do you remember the Volvo P1800 coupe from the 1960s? Obviously these days that original P1800 design looks very dated but back in the days when it first hit the streets it looked almost futuristic and it certainly stood out in a time when car design was not all that exciting.
Well if you remember that original P1800 then Volvo has a treat for you … the latest Volvo Concept Coupe. Volvo says that you can think of this Concept Coupe as the next generation P1800 and I would suggest that we’re going to see this Concept Coupe go into production in the near or two.
Unlike most concept cars that are designed to really push design and technology limits the Volvo Concept Coupe seems to rely a lot on current technology while looking at the possibilities of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture.
Volvo also says that their Concept Coupe is just the first of three concept cars that will explore Scalable Product Architecture.
What we see in the Volvo Concept Coupe is a change in proportion. The distance between the axle and the dashboard has been extended and the cabin has been moved slightly further back.
The bonnet and the cabin roof have been lowered and the Concept Coupe rides on 21-inch wheels and if you really want to get into the designers’ headspace as this car came together it might help to think of a lion … even at rest it’s obvious what a lion is capable of doing.
The grille is quite different to what you might expect in a Volvo but it still carries the unmistakable Volvo emblem and the headlights are certainly moving away from what we expect headlights to look like.
If the Volvo Concept Coupe is to make it into product it’s unlikely that we will see some of the same design elements in the production model. While a leather instrument panel and some high quality carpet could be carried into production I doubt that we will see the inlays of naturally aged wood or the handcrafted crystal gear-lever.
The portrait aspect of the touch screen in the centre console it certainly a step away from current thinking in just about every make and model of car where landscape or square screens are the norm.
In the Volvo Concept Coupe the touch screen interacts with the adaptive digital display and HUD in front of the driver.
As you would expect in a concept vehicle like this one the Concept Coupe is powered by something more advanced than just a normal petrol engine.
The Volvo Concept Coupe is powered by a petrol plug-in hybrid with supercharger and turbo and this is teamed with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. With this combination the Concept Coupe has a combined output of around 400bhp and over 600Nm or torque.
This combination is a test of Volvo’s plans to use electrification to create the most powerful versions in the new 4-cylinder Drive-E group of engines. Volvo suggests that these engines will “take power figures up into V8 territory.”
Now if only the original P1800 had that sort of power to play with.