Volvo Plans to Revamp its Entire Lineup by 2018
By now, it’s become readily apparent to everyone that Volvo is undertaking a major rebuilding process that will dramatically alter its existing lineup. The shake-up officially began with the unveiling of the new 2016 XC90. However, the arrival of the new SUV is only the beginning of a multi-year strategy that will see the Swedish brand unveil as many as seven new models in the next three years. According to Digital Trend, the changes will come in such rapid succession that by the time 2018 rolls around, the XC90 will be the brand’s oldest model.
The strategy to completely overhaul its entire lineup is bold, if not unprecedented for a company of Volvo’s size. But now that it has a ton of new technology to rely on, not to mention stable financing courtesy of Chinese owner Geely, the time has come for Volvo to climb back into the picture amongst Europe’s finest auto manufacturers.
The XC90 is step one, but after that, Volvo is also setting its sights on bringing back the S90 to replace the S80 as its new flagship sedan. Past reports have indicated that Volvo will rely heavily on the styling cues of the 2014 Concept Estate, which wouldn’t be a surprise given the overwhelmingly positive reviews it received when it made its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Together with the XC90, the S90 will sit at the top of Volvo’s new model hierarchy and will likely receive engine options similar to its SUV sibling, including gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines and a range-topping T8 hybrid model that would have 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.
Just below the S90, the XC90, and the V90 Wagon derivative, Volvo’s also looking to reignite its core model range: the S60. On this end, an S60 sedan, a V60 wagon, and an XC60 crossover are all likely to arrive at some point in the near future. There have also been whispers about a 2013 Concept Coupe-based two-door making its way into the Volvo lineup as a competitor to the BMW 4 Series and the Audi A5.
Volvo also has plans to shake up its entry-level offerings with a new V40 hatchback. According to Digital Trend, the V40 will use a Geely-issued platform instead of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform that most of its big brothers will use.
This could suggest that the V40 will be marketed as one of the company’s most important global models, especially if it’s going to be used as a barometer for its parent company’s own line of vehicles.
There may be a few more models inserted into the lineup in different spaces, but it’s very clear that Volvo is planning to do something we rarely see in the business. It’s going to overhaul its entire lineup at a rapid pace.
Click past the jump to read more about Volvo’s future plans.
Why it matters
It’s easy to be skeptical of Volvo’s ambitious plan given that no automaker has embarked on an overhaul of this magnitude and put a time stamp on it at the same time. But give credit to the Swedish automaker for hunkering down and taking this bold step. If it wants to be taken seriously and be talked about in the same breath as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, this is the kind of push it needs to get the industry’s attention.
In a perfect world, Volvo will hit all of its targets and by 2018, we’re going to be talking about it in a totally different light.
But here’s the caveat: it’s important for Volvo to follow its own schedule and not have any setbacks in the process. Since the XC90 goes on sale in 2015, it’s going to have to release the flagship S90 line in 2016, followed by the S60 line in 2017, and the V40 in 2018. It’s far easier said than done, but if Volvo can pull it off, it’s going to have an entire lineup of new models that could take the fight to some of Europe’s finest automakers.
Volvo’s long-awaited reinvention gets its first model release with the unveiling of the second-generation Volvo XC90. It sounds a little cheesy, but the XC90 will represent the dawn of a new day for an automaker once thought of as an "old man’s brand." Not only will the XC90 jolt some life back to the company’s SUV line, but it will also carry the distinction of being the first Volvo to use the company’s new SPA platform, the same architecture a handful of Volvos will use in the future.
The Swedish brand put a lot of effort in the XC90 to help usher in a new generation of customers who may want an alternative to the currently overflowing SUV market. The XC90 certainly checks a lot of boxes in that regard, thanks to a new design language that’s for more appealing to the eyes compared to its previous incarnation and a new set of engine options that could help reinvent how people view the company.
The XC90 will receive a host of four-cylinder gas and diesel engines, but it’s the range-topping T8 plug-in hybrid that Volvo is touting as a game-changer.