Report: Volvo Drops Front-Drive Versions of XC40 and XC60
Volvo is dropping front-wheel drive for the XC40 and XC60 crossovers for 2024. However, this also means the XC40 will lose the 2.0-liter B4 turbo (194 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) and now have the B5 variant (247 hp and 258 pound-feet) as its singular powertrain. Since the XC60 comes exclusively with the B5 already, the only change is that front-wheel drive will be removed from the menu.
While the manufacturer hasn’t explained the decision, it’s not hard to guess why it has axed the FWD variants. Since Volvo plans on going all-electric in the years to come, further consolidation of its gasoline-powered vehicles makes a lot of sense. It’s also a safe bet that the front-drive versions of the XC40 and XC60 aren’t as popular.
Volvo is broadly considered a luxury brand and its clientele has shown a predictable willingness to be upsold. While your author believes front or rear-wheel drive is perfectly serviceable in most situations, consumers who have the money typically want all-wheel drive. This is especially on utility vehicles and is often the first thing people ask when hoping to get my opinion on a prospective vehicle purchase.
Undoubtedly aware of this, Volvo probably thinks it can reduce manufacturing costs while making sure the more expensive versions of the XC40 (below) and XC60 (above) remain available. Frankly, it doesn’t seem like much of a loss. Both vehicles lack personality with the meeker powertrains and adding all-wheel drive only reduced fuel-economy estimates by a single mpg on the XC60.
When reporting on the changes being made to Volvo’s smaller crossovers, Car and Driver also managed to confirm that the Volvo S60 Recharge Polestar Engineered will be dropped next year.
The performance sedan came with the 455-hp T8 plug-in-hybrid powertrain, adjustable Öhlins dampers, gold-painted Brembo brake calipers, gold seat belts, a unique set of wheels, and lots of little touches to differentiate itself from the standard S60.
Seeing one on the road is incredibly rare and all versions of the S60 have gotten less popular over the last few years. Volvo managed to sell a little over 15,500 examples in 2021 and just 5,277 units through all of 2022. Granted, that wasn’t a volume year for most manufacturers. But the sedan trades at about half the frequency of the XC60 and Volvo has seen fit to streamline production on the more popular model.
It doesn’t make sense to continue building Polestar variants nobody is buying, especially since the division is likewise going all-electric. While Polestar’s annual volume has been increasing, the brand has said the majority of those sales are the result of the battery-powered Polestar 2.
[Images: Volvo Cars]
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