There is something very simple, clean and desirable about Scandinavian design and Volvo's next generation of design direction seems to have brought the brand back to it's Swedish design roots. The Volvo Concept XC Coupe hints at what we might be seeing in the 2015 XC90 and sticks with the clean look and feel of a previous concept, the beautiful Concept Coupe, revealed at the 2013 Franfurt Motor Show. The design "language" already has a name and a purpose - Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which means Volvo will be able to create a number of different cars on the same core of chassis components while losing unnecessary weight, thus improving efficiency.
After 11 years under the Ford umbrella, Volvo is now breaking free of all American design influence and its new Chinese-backed ownership is apparently allowing them to be 100% Swedish in their design philosophy and brand expression. This is apparent in the XC Concept Coupe with its proud, long, squared snout and sleek and simple aesthetics.
There is something so functional and practical about a concept car that includes a ski box on its rails. Volvo purposely designed this feature to accentuate the extreme sports lifestyle they are aiming for in their future crossover designs. The designers actually named Swedish company, POC as the inspiration for the concept - a company that develops high-tech gear for extreme sports athletes.
All the elements you expect from Volvo are present - the concave 'floating' grille and the C-shaped taillights - but the body has a more sleek and "shooting brake" feel to it than past XC crossovers have enjoyed. With its raised suspension and generous 21" wheels, the overall design is one of the best looking crossover concepts we've seen in a while.
There's no telling what will be under the hood of the next generation XC, but there is a big hint. A small "plug-in hybrid" badge appears over the driver's side front wheel. Of course, concept cars come in various stages of completion, but this XC concept seems to be purely a design exercise - not a fully conceived vehicle.
The technology story Volvo wants to reveal with both this concept and its earlier Concept Coupe is that Volvo will be creating one, efficient chassis for all its cars in the future that save on both weight and manufacturing expense. How that translates into a safe and high-performing Volvo is yet to be seen, but we've seen these types of ground-up technologies succeed in the past for other brands, such as Mazda's SkyActive technology, and we're hoping the same type of success for Volvo.
After 11 years under the Ford umbrella, Volvo is now breaking free of all American design influence, Volvo claims the past three years of Chinese-backed ownership (Geely Holding Group Company Ltd.) is allowing them to be 100% Swedish in their design philosophy and brand expression. This is apparent in the striking design of the XC Concept Coupe and other show cars the brand has recently introduced. We see it as a promising design future for the brand and for the loyal fans its cultivated in the USA. We just hope final product also lives up to the quality and premium safety and performance Volvo that made the brand famous.