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Volvo hints at its future with Concept Coupe

Volvo -- the Swedish automaker long on safety but short on new models -- has flexed its design muscles ahead of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, which opens Tuesday.

The brand, now owned by Chinese firm Geely, debuted last week the two-door Concept Coupe. Volvo says it’s the "next generation" of the P1800 sports car it sold for more than a decade in the 1960s and '70s.

The Concept Coupe is the first of three concepts Volvo says will demonstrate the flexibility of its new platform for its vehicles, which it has dubbed Scalable Product Architecture.

PHOTOS: Volvo's Concept Coupe

"The new Volvo Concept Coupe reveals how we could shape our cars from now on,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design.

PHOTOS: Highlights of the 2013 Frankfurt show

The concept’s design also previews the new look of Volvo, which will officially bow on the all-new XC90 crossover SUV that is set to debut in 2014.

"Even though the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year," Ingenlath said.

Though it’s officially a concept with no current plans for production, the Concept Coupe is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. A 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged gas engine is paired to an electric motor for a total of 400 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, according to Volvo.

Volvo does offer a production plug-in hybrid station wagon in some markets overseas, though it uses a five-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and electric motor for 215 total horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.

Despite a dearth of new products for the U.S. market, Volvo’s sales managed a minor 1.3% increase from 2011 to 2012, with just over 68,000 vehicles sold.

Early next year, the company will put the V60 Sports Wagon on sale in the U.S., just prior to the aforementioned debut of the all-new XC90.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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