Volvo has always been around but now it's ready to become a major luxury player.
Volvo just rolled out a pair of new concept cars designed to preview the next-generation of its 40 series, the smallest cars in its lineup. The 40.1 is a compact four-door that rides high, while the 40.2 is a crossover. Both will be built on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which is specifically designed for small cars. Before we go any further let’s just address the elephant in the room. The 40.1 looks like a much prettier BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo and the 40.2 looks a lot like the Range Rover Evoque.
Here's Volvo's senior vice president of design, Thomas Ingenlath, talking about the new concept cars.
Normally any car sharing similarities with the 3 Series Gran Turismo is a bad thing, but the 40.1’s squared rear-end looks much better than the baby-with-a-full-diaper look BMW seemed to be going for. The 40.2 is another story, though. While the concept looks great it’s strikingly similar to the Evoque in a way that’s a bit too close for comfort. Similarities aside both cars look stunning with sharp lines and intimidating stances. After looking at the 40.1 for a few minutes the concept leaves more of a lasting impression than the last S40 ever did. Hopefully the production version doesn’t ride as high, though. As for the 40.2, likely to be known as the XC40, well we feel the same way about it as we do the Evoque.
Volvo is committed to selling up to 1 million electrified cars globally by 2025 and as such both of these cars will see electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains, although conventional gas engines will first be offered. The first of the new 40 Series cars will go into production in 2017, which means we should see a concept in the metal hopefully later this year. Maybe the newest baby Volvos will bow at Paris? Los Angeles just doesn’t seem like an auto show where Volvo would debut the 40.1 and 40.2. Regardless of the cars’ debut date Volvo looks to be taking its newfound momentum into the future. The XC90 won the 2016 North American Truck of the Year Award. In addition to being a hit with the media the XC90 has also done well with consumers.
The XC90 won the prestigious award at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the same event where the S90 sedan was launched. The S90 is simply gorgeous and in its top guise makes 400 horsepower. Before that Volvo acquired tuning firm Polestar to try and compete in Europe’s luxury hi-po scene. Oh, and it also said its cars would be deathproof by 2020. That’s a lot accomplished in less than a year, right? If Volvo can maintain this momentum over the next few years then it may very quickly become Europe’s next big automaker.