The ‘next-generation Volvo P1800’ in the guise of the Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo Concept Coupe

Is the Volvo Concept Coupé actually bound for production? It will be years, we believe, if it is.

But Volvo is calling the Volvo Concept Coupé the “next-generation P1800.” For anyone with a long memory (or perhaps a good automotive history book), the Volvo P1800 was the Volvo sports car that debuted in 1961 and, continuing through the Volvo 1800ES Sportwagon, lasted until 1973. The latter was reprised in a sort by the Volvo C30 sportwagon, which recently left production.

Volvo Concept Coupe grille

The Volvo Concept Coupe grille recalls that of the original Volvo P1800. (Click to enlarge)

It’s not often a manufacturer builds a large crossover-SUV and a slinky sports coupe on the platform, but Volvo has demonstrated that it’s possible…and perhaps may happen. The next Volvo XC90, arriving in 2014, has “the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture”…and so does the new Volvo Concept Coupé.

Volvo’s purpose in building the Volvo Concept Coupe is to highlight the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA)technology, a new concept by Volvo developed use in Volvo vehicles (even perhaps Volvos built in China). SPA may be fascinating to engineers and technology wonks, but car enthusiasts likely will be intrigued more by the “next P1800” remark. The Volvo Concept Coupé is the first design by Volvo’s  new senior vice president of design, Thomas Ingenlath. According to Ingenlath, “The Volvo Concept Coupé is no futuristic dream car. It is designed to demonstrate the capability of our new architecture: the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures.”

Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo Concept Coupe (click to enlarge)

Said Ingenlath in a statement by Volvo, “The new Volvo Concept Coupé reveals how we could shape our cars from now on. Free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design.”

Volvo stopped far short of stating that the Volvo Concept Coupé is a harbinger of a future Volvo model, though noted that the gasoline plug-in hybrid driveline in the Volvo Concept Coupé  demonstrates Volvo’s strategy with the new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family that will take power output to V8 levels.

The Volvo Concept Coupé has a two-liter high-performance Drive-E gasoline engine with a supercharger and turbo, along with an electric motor powering the rear wheels. Total power figures for the Volvo Concept Coupé is around 400 hp and over 440 lb.-ft. of torque. That would be impressive in a large crossover-SUV like the Volvo XC90, but it’s downright titillating in the “next generation P1800.”