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Volvo Concept XC Coupe shows future XC90

We'll have to wait until closer to Detroit to find out what's under the XC Concept Coupe's clamshell bonnet.

The Volvo Concept XC Coupe is headed for a global unveiling at the Detroit motor show next week, but early photos and details give a good idea of what to expect from it -- and from the next XC90 and other Volvo crossovers.

The Concept XC Coupe -- like the Concept Coupe at Frankfurt -- is built on Volvo's new scalable platform, which in this latest form underpins a sleek, low-slung body with three doors, but only four seats. However you can expect that number to grow by the time the XC90 hits the showroom after a debut at Paris show in September.

Volvo chief designer Thomas Ingenlath has created a streamlined design echoing that of the Concept Coupe, but bumped up the ride height and given it touch-looking crossover touches -- some of which won't appear outside the show stand.

However the production model could retain some of the concept styling also seen in the earlier teaser sketches and images, hopefully including the muscular side sills, hanmerhead LED section splitting the headlights, exaggeration of the signature Volvo hook tail-light, and vertical floating grille.

The 21-inch orange-accented wheels and similarly luridly coloured front and rear skid plates are unlikely to survive, although they're starting to seem less eye-gouging than at first sight.

Expect the XC90 in production form to have a full arsenal of the latest Volvo safety tech, including pedestrian-detecting automatic braking and collision-avoiding 'convoy' system that lets you autonomously follow the car in front.

We'll have to wait until closer to Detroit to find out what's under the XC Concept Coupe's clamshell bonnet, but it's likely to echo the Concept Coupe's hybrid set-up with a turbocharged and supercharged (for high and low rev response) 1.4-litre engine mated with an electric motor, together producing a total of 300kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

However while a hybrid variant is a possibility for the production XC90, the range will also carry something closer to the current engine choices of a 179kW/320Nm 3.2-litre petrol unit -- although possibly downsized -- and a 147kW/420Nm 2.4-litre diesel.

And the platform and styling behind the show crossover won't stop at spawning just the XC90, with a replacement due for the smaller XC60 within the next two years, and Volvo already having indicated the desirability of a little XC40 to woo buyers in the booming baby crossover segment.