Volvo's new design director Thomas Ingenlath boldly declared this week that "the vanilla days are over", promising a sexy, smooth and strong new Swede.
As though its mental S60 Polestar sedan were not enough to convince us of Volvo's intentions, the carmaker has unleashed a new concept - named simply Coupé - that hangs low and hits high.
This is a concept that pulls no punches. There's 298kW and 600Nm on tap, and it comes from an electric motor that's mated to Volvo's new 2.0 litre Drive-E petrol engine... that's also turbo- and super-charged.
But, just as importantly, Ingenlath says the Coupé concept's styling is a genuine preview of what's to come. Two more concepts are on the way, and hidden within is a glimpse of Volvo's next-generation production range.
Vanilla days indeed.
The petrol-electric setup sees the boosted petrol engine driving the front axle, while the rear end contributes to the show with an electric motor.
Volvo says the concept's plug-in hybrid driveline reflects its strategy to use electrification in creating the most powerful versions of its new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family, promising V8 performance.
The Coupé is of course built on Volvo's new Scaleable Production Architecture (SPA), which is the carmaker's own take on the modular platform approach that now dominates the auto industry.
Volvo reckons it's even more versatile (read: more model types and sizes can be built on it) than Volkswagen's ubiquitous MQB platform.
In the cabin, the concept features a hand-cut crystal gear lever (of course), a leather dash and woven carpets, and a large touch display in the centre of the dash.
The concept's interior marks an evolution of Volvo's cabin design, most noteably with the new take on its familiar floating dash design.
Inspired by the iconic P1800 of the 1960s, the concept's lines are distinctly Volvo, with wrapped tail-lights below a long rear deck, familiar winglets at the front end and that 'very Volvo' grille design.
Volvo has two more concepts on the way, and the carmaker says they'll pave the way for the introduction of the all-new Volvo XC90 in 2014.
Watch out for that.
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