We’re big fans of Volvo here at AutoVolt and with good reason. The Swedish company has always produced innovative products that offer a slightly unconventional approach to the norm and lately their design has come along leaps and bounds. They’re a company that brought us the – admitedly thirsty – V60 Plug-in Hybrid diesel and they’ve since released the exceptional XC90 T8 Twin-Engine and are soon to launch their big flagship cars too, the S90 and V90 – both with T8 Twin-Engine plug-in hybrid goodness.
The company has benefitted enormously from a massive Chinese money input, that has ironically made the company more Swedish than it has been for decades. No longer are the company’s designers having their hands tied behind their backs by an all-controlling parent company, instead the Swedes have been unleashed and the result is some very alluring products. Just look at some of the press pictures, they looks stunning. The striking design is distinctly Volvo, yet it is also somehow extremely modern and well… un-Volvo!
Today, Volvo’s small-car strategy has been given some extra encouraging news, that each and every model in the line-up will be offered with both a pure-electric and Twin-Engine variant. Applause please.
Two new concept cars have been unveiled that aim to move the Swedish brand in a new direction and mark the official launch of its global small-car strategy. Today’s newly revealed 40 series concept models demonstrate for the first time how Volvo plans to expand into the large and lucrative global market for premium small cars with a range of vehicles that combine bold exterior and interior design with industry-leading connectivity, electrification and autonomous drive technologies.
The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which has been specially created for smaller cars and which has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions.
Volvo’s new global small-car range will include a pure-battery electric vehicle as well as a Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain variant, in line with the company’s commitment to the electrification of its entire portfolio. Volvo plans to have sold a total of up to one million electrified cars by 2025 globally. Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, said:
“By taking a modular approach to both vehicle architecture and powertrain development, we have succeeded in leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment. Our new battery electric powertrain variant opens yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.”
On top of their daring exterior design and electrified powertrain options, the new cars will also offer a full range of innovative connectivity services, plus the world’s most advanced standard package of safety features and ground-breaking Scandinavian interior design. Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, said:
“The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment. An electric powertrain program, including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car, are central to the CMA architecture.”
He added that the first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017. The announcement of Volvo’s new global small-car strategy comes on the back of a strong start to the year in terms of sales and profitability.
The company announced revenues for the first three months of the year rose by 24% year-on-year to SEK41.7bn, generating an operating profit of SEK3.1bn and an operating profit margin of 7.5%. Global sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased 11.9% to 120,591 cars. Volvo has a medium-term ambition to sell 800,000 cars a year, up from 503,000 in 2015.