Report: Volvo Drops Front-Drive Versions of XC40 and XC60

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.