Baltimore, Maryland, United States
They may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the marque, but Volvo has a long and surprisingly lustrous lineage of coupes in its stable, from the P1800 to the 142 to the Bertone 262C to the 780 Bertone and the recently departed C70. Few of those two-doors have stood the test of time the way the voluptuous P1800 has, a fact the company's designers are apparently keenly aware of. It is that exact model that Volvo says they've drawn upon for this new Concept Coupe, and while the showcar bears little resemblance to the smaller P1800 that inspired it, both cars have a visual grace and presence that has often eluded the brand's grasp.
While not completely ripping up the design language established by the 2001 S60 in 2000, the Coupe Concept is arguably the most radical design statement we've seen from Volvo in well over a decade. Gone is the tone set by the drop-shoulder hood, and in its place is a more flowing, organic look, with the generous proportions of a grand tourer. The concept is a particularly nice piece of work, from its new T-shaped daytime running lamps to its pronounced rear fenders that subtly echo those of the P1800. Interestingly, Volvo informs that the first production model to benefit from this new aesthetic will be the next-generation XC90 crossover - and judging by the teasers we recently saw, this language looks like it'll translate nicely to the CUV's larger shape.
The Concept Coupe is powered by a through-the-road plug-in hybrid architecture composed of a twincharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powering the front wheels and an electric motor servicing the rears. All-in, Volvo says the system is good for 400 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.
Anyone who pedals a bicycle knows that one of the biggest dangers to riders is a motorized vehicle - Volvo estimates that nearly 50 percent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. In the United States alone, 618 riders lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes in 2010, and the number of injuries surpassed 52,000.
To help drop those numbers, Volvo has just announced Cyclist Detection with full auto brake - a technology that detects and automatically applies a vehicle's brakes when a cyclist swerves in front of a moving car. The basic components of the system include a radar unit integrated into the front grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar is tasked with seeing obstacles in front of the vehicle and calculating distance, while the camera is responsible to determine what the object is. The central control unit, with rapid processing capabilities, monitors and evaluates the situation.
The technology, which will be sold bundled with its Pedestrian Detection and called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, will automatically apply full braking when both the radar and camera confirm a pedestrian or cyclist are in the immediate path of the vehicle. According to the automaker, the technology will be offered on the Volvo V40, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 models from mid-May in 2013.
The final chapter of Volvo's concept car trilogy has arrived after a few teasers earlier this week, as well as some recently leaked images, and as we so astutely summarized previously, it's a brown shooting brake. Really, we couldn't think of a better type of vehicle to follow up the Concept Coupe from the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Concept XC Coupe from the Detroit Auto Show and complete the Swedish trinity of concepts.
It's best to think of the Concept Estate as the hipper, classier cousin to the Concept Coupe. The two are virtually identical below the beltline, featuring front fascias that are indistinguishable from each other (except one is, you know, brown). Both cars wear wide, rectangular grilles inspired by classic Volvo models and T-shaped headlights Where the Concept Estate differs, obviously, is with its more functional rear end and longer roof.
That rear is accented by the Estate's wide haunches and slim, angular taillights, which borrow heavily from the units shown on the Concept XC Coupe. These two features work in tandem to present a wide, squat appearance from the rear. The profile, meanwhile, shows off that spacious greenhouse, which is made even airier by a glass roof.