Volvo Considers New Small Car Family
Since the 2015 Volvo V40 has been off to a pretty good sales start, Volvo seems to be in the mood to expand its lineup in the small-car segment, with the next generation of the V40 to become a larger family of models. Work on the future small Volvos has already started at the new China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) center that has been built in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The modular platform engineered by CEVT will be used for both Geely models and the V40 replacement, which will be accompanied by the 2020 Volvo XC40 compact crossover, and possibly by other models as well. According to Autocar, who had a look at the jobs currently availabale at CEVT, at least one hybrid powertrain will be found in the new architecture. Apparently, the models using the platform will be FWD or AWD, except the hybrid versions using an electrified rear axle, rendering them AWD-only.
On the Geely-side of the deal, it is not yet clear what kind of cars will use the new architecture, but the report says they will probably be aimed at European and Chinese markets. Either way, any new models based on the Volvo-Geely platform created at CEVT are at least two and a half years away, so the XC40 will probably be the first. Strangely enough, the CEO of CEVT is Mats Fagerhag, who was the lead engineer for the now-dead Phoenix platform, which was supposed to underpin a new Saab lineup before the Swedish company ran into trouble.
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Why it matters
It seems that Volvo didn’t take a turn for the worse when it was bought by Geely, as their latest products, such as the awesome 2016 Volvo XC90, are more than ready to take on their German rivals. The V40 and its replacement should also be worthy to battle the Audi A3, 2016 BMW 1 Series and the 2016 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, while the proposed XC40 should bring a Swedish touch to the fight against models like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Since compact cars are the newest craze for most premium carmakers, Volvo won’t have an easy job increasing its market presence, but the modular platform created by CEVT sounds like a pretty good start.
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