Volvo Concept Coupé pushes forward while looking back, recalling the P1800

Alex Lloyd
August 29, 2013

Volvo is readying the reveal of three concept cars showcasing the brand's potential design possibilities from its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The first design in the series is this, the Volvo Concept Coupé. With its P1800-esque floating grille, Clint Eastwood eyes and looping rear taillights, the design elements may become familiar: Despite being a different type of car, Volvo says the next XC90 will bear strong resemblance to the Concept Coupé. So take note.

Volvo seemingly takes every opportunity to mention the P1800, including Irv Gordon's imminent surpassing of the three million mile mark in his 1966 P1800 coupe. It's a car that recalls Volvo's sporty side, rather than the soccer mom stereotypes of old; a boxy image Volvo has gradually been shedding. But the Concept Coupé isn't about reminiscing; according to Volvo, it's a matter of "using these subtle links to a glorious past to create a future where sheer beauty becomes a recognised part of Volvo’s identity."

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter V-8 motor that sports one of everything: One turbo, one supercharger and one electric motor. Adding these attributes generates 400 hp and 440 lb.-ft. of torque. The interior remains plush and extravagant, even boasting a crystal gear lever (which like Sweden in winter will never see the light of day).

While this concept looks fantastic, the real test will be how the bold styling translates into future production vehicles. Providing the design doesn't overly dilute, this stands as a solid step forward. And we'll await Volvo's next concept cars for further clarification of the direction the Swedes are headed.