Volvo’s striking Concept XC Coupe is the second in a trio of design studies previewing the automaker’s future styling direction, but more importantly it previews the look of one very important model, the next-generation XC90 due out at the end of the year. The first of the three concepts was last year’s Concept Coupe, which drew its inspiration from Volvo’s classic P1800 and set the tone for the following studies.

The Concept XC Coupe showcases Volvo’s new design themes on a crossover body, and according to the Swedish automaker’s design team, headed by Thomas Ingenlath, drew its inspiration from high-tech sports equipment. This, say its designers, was done to appeal to buyers looking for a capable and safe vehicle to match their active lifestyles. As the live images from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show demonstrate, Volvo's new conceptual design themes suit the crossover form factor quite well.

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Key elements include accentuated wheel-arches, chunky 21-inch wheels, T-shaped daytime running lights, and body protective elements such as side cladding and rubber moldings. Volvo recently partnered with Swedish sports equipment company POC in order to come up new ideas within safety and design, and some of the first fruits of the partnership are present here.

But touting new design themes isn’t the Concept XC Coupe’s only purpose. Just as the previous Concept Coupe was built to showcase the proportions and versatility of Volvo’s new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), the Concept XC Coupe shows how the new modular platform can reinforce the automaker’s reputation for safety without compromising design, size or weight.

In the Concept XC Coupe, extensive use of high-strength boron steel and structures with new, ingenious decoupling has allowed Volvo to keep the vehicle compact and light yet safer than any previous Volvo model.

For our complete coverage of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.


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