Volvo’s aging C70 power-retractable hardtop coupe will soldier on through the 2013 model year, but there’s no way of knowing if the model has life beyond that. It’s clear that Volvo will shutter the plant that builds the C70, and it’s equally clear that Volvo isn’t working on a C70 replacement.

That’s not to say that Volvo is abandoning the idea of a luxury coupe, and Inside Line reports that Volvo may be working on a larger, more upscale C90 coupe to rival offerings from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. If a Volvo C90 is built, expect it to be bigger and pricier than the current C70.

Why go such a premium route? In a word, the answer is profit. Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture would allow the C90 to share a platform with the next S80 sedan, reducing development and production costs. Even at a relatively low production volume, a C90 could be profitable if the price were high enough.

Since Volvo is moving towards an all-four-cylinder-engine future, look for power to come from a range of four-cylinder, forced-induction gasoline and diesel engines, with a plug-in-hybrid variant also rumored to be under consideration.

It’s not clear if Volvo would launch the C90 as a coupe, with a separate convertible variant to follow, or as a power retractable hardtop model. The original Volvo C70 debuted in coupe and convertible variants, and didn’t go the powered hardtop route until the second generation model was launched in 2006.