We could see more Volvo models like the C40.
An SUV styled to look like a coupe is not a brand-new idea. BMW began the trend in 2008 with the X6, a vehicle it dubbed a Sports Activity Coupe (SAV). More than a decade later, several automakers have jumped on the SUV Coupe trend, including Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and most recently, Volvo.
Revealed in March, the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge is essentially a coupe version of the all-electric XC40 Recharge. It features the same twin-motor electric drivetrain producing 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque but in a sleeker coupe-like body.
Volvo is pretty late to the SUV coupe game, but the Swedish automaker could go all-in with even more models. "Of course, we can't talk about our future products, [but] what I would say is the principles of this - accommodating the [SUV body style's] versatility and high seating point is something that is going to be important in our future products because we see that is something our customers really want," Volvo's senior vice president of Volvo design Robin Page told CarAdvice.
"We saw the C40 as a natural fit for the XC40 because we saw our customers wanting that high eyepoint, easy ingress, and egress, [and] nice versatility," Page added. "It was inspired [by] this first sketch, and it then became an exciting project going in."
If customers react positively to the C40, we imagine Volvo could move forward creating larger coupe models based on the XC60 and XC90. Volvo already trademarked the "XC50" name, though we don't think this will be a coupe model since it starts with an "X" rather than a "C."
In previous interviews, Volvo hinted that new models could replace the company's existing sedans and wagons but it may be softening on that stance. "We're constantly analyzing changes in customer expectations and design trends, and what we need to do is create products that are relevant to our customers, but also connect with Volvo the brand," Page explained.
Switching to an electric skateboard platform might keep sedans and wagons alive for a bit longer since their lower center of gravity improves range. "There is the need, I think, for customers to have this lower car than the SUV but something that gives you a big, versatile space in the back," Page hinted.
"We have a portfolio of cars, so of course we can pitch different products for different lifestyles. I think what you will see is we will adapt proportions to electrification principles. We don't need that space for the engine anymore; we don't need a big open grille, so that language will change."