Saintly look to Volvo's stunning new Concept Coupe
The iconic sports car driven by Roger Moore in The Saint is to make a comeback after it was recreated for the 21st century.
Volvo has unveiled the first images of its stunning Concept Coupe ahead of its world debut next month.
It is being described as a car inspired by "contemporary, progressive Scandinavian lifestyle and design, as well as iconic elements from the past".
The past refers to the P1800 coupe best known as the company car of Simon Templar, Roger Moore's spy character from the 1960s hit show The Saint.
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Studio bosses opted for the Swedish coupe after Jaguar turned down the opportunity to provide an E-Type for the series.
Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design, said: "It is a car designer’s duty to reflect and incorporate design signatures that are vital parts of the company’s heritage.
"The P1800 is an iconic Volvo, renowned for its beautiful forms and detailing. However, using elements from the P1800 exterior and interior has nothing to do with being retro.
"We are using these subtle links to a glorious past to create a future where sheer beauty becomes a recognised part of Volvo’s identity. That journey starts with Concept Coupe."
The P1800 had a 2-litre petrol engine which boasted 100bhp when it was built, 50 years on, the new Concept Coupe uses far more complex technology.
It is powered by a 2-litre supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine as well as an electric motor which gives it around 400bhp.
This sort of power figure should give the sports car a sub-five second 0-60mph time and a top speed in excess of 155mph.
Its low bonnet, roof, and five-spoke, 21-inch alloy wheels have been designed in a way to give an impression of the sports car's capabilities while its stationary.
Mr Ingenlath added: "Think about the powerful calmness of a lion. He doesn’t have to prowl to radiate respect. Even lying down he shows very clearly what he is capable of."
At the moment the ‘P1800’ is concept with Volvo using design cues for its next generation of models, starting with the XC90 in 2014.
However, there are hopes Volvo will enter the Coupe Concept into full production if demand is high enough.
A source at the firm said: "It’s going down well at the moment which is pleasing so it is a never say never situation.
"If there is enough interest then production is something we will look at."
The Volvo P1800 was built between 1961 and 1973 with one American owner famously driving more than three million miles in it.
Volvo will officially unveil the 'next generation P1800' at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.