This could either materialize in the form of a 3 Series or Tesla Model 3 competitor or chase after the Mercedes GLA.
Volvo is banking quite a bit on more mainstream picks, like sedans and SUVs, to lead its foray back into prominence, and while we just heard that the company's first electric car will be built in China and go on sale in 2019, it will be the smaller more accessible models that will help give the Swedish automaker the sales volume it needs to succeed. That could explain why Volvo's U.S. president, Lex Kerssemakers, accidentally let slip that a smaller 20-series model is on the way.
Speaking with Car and Driver, the executive said, "It's pretty straightforward: The 90 is the biggest, and the 40 is the smallest," said Kerssemakers. "And when there is a 20, it will be a smaller one." News of a 20-series had never before been whispered at Volvo, though we did previously hear Kerssemakers indicate that the company would debut a Tesla Model 3 competitor within a couple of years. Still, this is the first time a name has been dropped. Making his statements more enticing is the fact that Kerssemakers hinted that a 20-series would likely make to America by claiming that Volvo "only makes global cars, so [they] should apply to all parts of the world."
As Car and Driver notes, it's not reasonable to expect a V20 wagon variant given its impracticality, but anything from a small SUV in XC20 guise to a miniature S20 sedan should not be written off. Talks of coupes and convertibles should also be dismissed as they typically reward the large investment in their inception with marginal returns, but what we can likely expect is a plug-in hybrid variant powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motors that would precede an all-electric version. By the time it hits the dealership, it's likely that plenty of competitors will have entered the same segment and steal attention away from the Swedish option, but Volvo plans to stay ahead using its good old fashioned creativity and head-turning design.