‘next-generation P1800’ Volvo Concept Coupe is branding now

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The teasing can now officially come to an end – Volvo has released all the images, videos and details on its new Concept Coupe, and we’re intrigued. The Swedish automaker is calling the concept its “next-generation P1800,” and those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Fortunately, it’s not all talk; there are clear links to Volvo’s much-loved coupe in the concept’s shape, though we certainly wouldn’t call it ‘retro.’

Up front, T-shaped running lights bracket what the brand calls a “floating grille” with a “distinctive iron mark.” The side profile is dominated by a distinct bow that can be seen, in a slightly more mellow form, on current Volvo vehicles, and the broad-shouldered rear end is bracketed by slender C-shaped taillight clusters.

The interior, too, is unique. A handcrafted crystal gearshift lever is a highlight, as is a large touchscreen laid out in portrait (as opposed to landscape). Volvo has removed as many physical buttons as possible, which certainly creates a smooth and attractive cabin, but we’re curious to see how it all works in ergonomic terms.

“The new Volvo Concept Coupe 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 Volvo Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath. Not exactly fightin’ words, but close.

Somewhat eyebrow-raisingly, Volvo says the first machine that will take styling cues from the Concept Coupe will be the next XC90crossover, which is slated to hit the market in 2014. While the upright stance of a ‘ute doesn’t seem compatible with the sleek, low-slung lines of a coupe, the automaker assures in the press release below that, while “the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year.”

Making such design stretchability possible is Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture. Specific elements that include a “generous” dash-to-axle ratio and a hip point that is “low enough to create a low profile on a sleek sedan without compromising headroom” are cited as defining factors of the new architecture.

A four-cylinder gasoline engine makes up half the plug-in hybrid powertrain, and Volvo promises power levels on par with current V8 engines through the use of both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Combined output from the 2.0-liter engine that powers the front wheels and the electric motor connected to the rear wheels is around 400 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

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