Volvo Concept Coupe revealed ahead of Frankfurt motor show

* Concept previews future Volvo designs * Coupe show car is a 2.0-litre hybrid with 395bhp * Introduces Volvo’s new chassis technology...

Volvo Concept Coupe revealed ahead of Frankfurt motor show

This is the Volvo Concept Coupe, a technology and design showcase that previews the look of the company’s next-generation production cars.

As well as hinting at design cues for new Volvo models, the Concept Coupe introduces the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture, a modular chassis platform that will underpin most of the future Volvo range. The first car with the new chassis will be the all-new XC90 that will appear in 2014.

The Concept Coupe is a two-door car, with a bluff front end that’s dominated by a wide, slatted grille. There’s a rising waistline with a kink just behind the door handle, which extends into a sharp crease over the flared rear wheelarches. The car sits on five-spoke, 21-inch alloy wheels.

The Concept Coupe is a plug-in hybrid, which Volvo says has V8-rivalling power with only half the number of cylinders. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine that is supercharged and turbocharged, mated to an electric motor to produce a combined 395bhp and 442lb ft of torque.

Inside the cabin, the Concept Coupe has a split-level dashboard with a large touch-screen set at an angle in the centre, which controls most of the car’s functions. A small projector above the cowled instrument dials also provides the driver with a head-up display, similar to that found in the latest BMW models. The concept is lavishly trimmed with leather, wood, expensive metals and even a crystal gearlever.

There’s no official word from Volvo on whether the coupe previews a successor to the C70 coupe, but a number of design elements will end up on its next-generation cars. The familiar logo set across the new grille, the T-shaped daytime running lights, and the C-shaped tail-lights will be recognisable styling details across the future Volvo range.

As mentioned already, the first car to be built on the new platform will be the next XC90 SUV. Volvo has already told What Car? that it will be revealed next year, although it won't go on sale until 2015. It will also be the first Volvo fitted with self-driving technology, which will be able to steer the car and keep it moving in low-speed congestion. Volvo aims to have cars with more advanced, ‘fully autonomous’ technology on the roads by 2020.

The Concept Coupe is the first in a series of three concept cars that will showcase the versatility of Volvo’s new chassis platform. It will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show next month, with the second concept due at Detroit in January 2014 and the third car at Geneva in March 2014.