Two concepts just revealed by Volvo shows where the brand’s 40 Series vehicles are headed.
The imaginatively-named Concept 40.1 and 40.2 were the centerpieces at today’s launch of Volvo’s global small car strategy. The growth-primed automaker plans to hit the premium small car market with a series of vehicles built around its Compact Modular Architecture.
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Larger vehicles like the upcoming S90 and wildly popular XC90 already have the “understated elegance” thing covered. So, the automaker once known for making really reliable boxes chose a funkier look for its bottom rung offerings.
A sporty sedan is a must-have model, but a just-edgy-enough compact crossover opens the door to a very lucrative market.
The versatile CMA platform allowed designers and engineers to go in “bold and daring new directions,” Volvo claims. It also makes it easy to offer a variety of powertrains, including a full battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrids.
“By taking a modular approach to both vehicle architecture and powertrain development we have succeeded in leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment,” said Dr Peter Mertens, senior vice-president of research and development, in a statement.
Every propulsion type will be offered by the time the 40 Series lineup fills out. The first model starts production in 2017, with an EV due by 2019.
Volvo plans to offer its T5 Twin Engine drivetrain in 40 Series models. That setup sees a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and electric motor work together through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
Naturally, a ridiculous amount of connectivity and safety features are planned for the lineup.
With a sales turnaround already underway, the automaker plans to offload 800,000 vehicles annually in the medium term. Last year’s sales figures sat just above the half-million mark.
[Images: Volvo Car Corporation]