• Aug 9, 2007

As long as BMW doesn't own Volvo, then the Swede is allowed to target the roundel's cars as competitors. Autocar reports that Volvo is shaking up the lowest two rungs on its sedan line to put more space between them, and to better compete with the 3 Series.

The smallest sedan, the S40, will be be made over from a 4-door sedan into a 5-door hatchback along the lines of the A3 and BMW 1-series. The very name S40 might also be sacrificed, changed instead to V40. The S60, instead of disappearing entirely, will get a longer wheelbase, a better interior, shared tech from the S80 and Mondeo, and a chassis that does a better job at challenging 3 Series dynamics. Part of that redesign, if the renderings are accurate, will be a flared three-section front bumper that is the new hotness in car design. Regarding the car's sporting aspirations, engineers are said to be battling accountants for funds to design a more sporting chassis. Engines for the S60 will include a 2-liter and 2.2-liter 4-cylinder diesels, the D5 5-cylinder diesels, as well as a 2-liter gas turbo.

It is claimed also that the Volvo logo will also be altered, losing the diagonal bar that spans the grill. Only the circle and arrow -- a stylization of the chemical symbol for iron -- will remain. All of these changes are slated to appear in 2009-10.

[Source: Autocar]



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  • 28 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The A5 looks great from the side... The 1 series Bimmer has the ugly side, with the sagging line under the door... ugh, what the hell were they thinking. Volvo is not going to make their cars look anything like BMWs, they’re focusing on what makes even an ugly BMW great; the chassis, proper feedback through the steering wheel, etc…
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, BMW will buy Volvo and will go down with it. Great idea!!! That is an easy way to get rid of BMW in the end.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Also, no I-6?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I absolutely love the look of that S60. However, if it sounds too good to be true and looks too good to be true.... well u get the idea. This rendering as well as the XC60 concept that was shown earlier this year are both gorgeous, and showcase a design direction that seems out of Volvo's reach. Maybe I will be wrong, and Volvo will start bringing us sexy cars, but until I see the sheetmetal, it's probably too good to be true.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Seems like if Volvo wants a truly sporting chassis for the next S60, they'd have a starting point better than anything they've done if they just copied what Ford did with the newest Mondeo. Of course, a bit of work (and money) to use fancier materials to lighten up the front end, maybe further sharpen the steering, there's room for that in the price of a Volvo. Not to mention adding all wheel drive, which they should be able to use what they learned from the S60R and push that a little further towards actual fun.
      Still, it seems if Volvo were to do anything to improve sales, it'd be to appeal to their pretentious audience more and go for the Eco angle with clean diesels and/or hybrids, but unfortunately they're behind on those technologies as well (D5 and D6 are nice, but nothing compared to the latest BMW and Audi and Merc diesels).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Volvo doesn't need to copy anything. Volvo led the development of the EUCD platform that underpins the S80, The LR2 and the Mondeo. The EUCD platform was designed to be the common platform for Ford Europe and PAG midsized vehicles, including the XC60 and the S60.

        Talk of some other "enthusiast-friendly chassis" for the S60 is total BS. A Volvo sedan designated "V30" is also BS. Sedans get an S, wagons V for versatility, coupes/convertibles C, and SUVs XC. Autocar is just messing with their readers.

        As for engines, it is unlikely that we will see anything other than I-6s (NA and turbos) in the States initially.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey, here's a novel idea... instead of a "coupesque" look for the S60, why not build a coupe?!

      The market is so over flowing with stodgy 4 door sedans it's pathetic. I don't think there has been a time in automotive history when so few 2 door coupes have been available. The manufacturers are simply refusing to cater to those younger buyers who don't have a need for the 4 doors and also prefer the cleaner lines of a 2 door vehicle. And if you look at the sales of the few 2 door vehicles that are on the market, sales are fantastic. For instance the 2 door coupes such as the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and the Mini Cooper all have excellent sales.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Until Volvo (if this can happen before they're sold) shifts to a rear wheel drive platform with a near 50/50 front and rear ratio-they will never compete with BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus I, G and LS vehicles. They really should be concentrating on being sold because the entire lineup will be revamped anyway under the new owners.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What is the big deal abour RWD when it comes to luxury cars? Personally, I think the way to go (for everyone) is FWD-based AWD. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether the car is driven from the back or the front as long as the car isn't underpowered. Volvo has always been FWD, and it should stay that way unless it decides to Subaru it up and go all AWD all the time. It's just better for them.

        Actually, I should clarify. If I'm going to be driving a sports car or a muscle car, obviously it needs RWD. In Volvo's, and most other carmakers' cases, however, FWD is a better choice.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Volvo used to be RWD, I had a 760 Turbo '87, RWD with Dedion rear suspension, as far as i remember the 240 series is RWD as well, they just went FWD like many others, such as Alfa Romeo and even Cadillac, RWD IMO suits better bigger cars,
        • 7 Years Ago
        They should stop trying to be BMW. BMW is ultimate driving machines. Volvo is awesome station wagon boxiness. People love Volvos the way they are; other automakers would kill for branding as coherent as theirs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think that the only Volvo that had a DeDion rear was the 343.

        Never the less...Volvo aims for BMW. Well, first they neutered the brand when they took away the symbol for iron as part of the logo.

        The they made them all FWD.

        Then they made them Fords!

        What ever happened to Volvo:Boxy, but built!

        Now it will be Volvo: "What if Chris Bangle had done front drivers?"

        UGH!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think Volvo has picked a bad direction in design, features, amenitites, performance, etc., but they have a long way to go to match BMW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does anyone else think that the volvo in that render reads like a Nissan from a distance?

      I believe Volvo has already damaged their desirability by announcing the fact that they aren't confident with their image and are now 'wanna bees". A strong confident distinction is what they had, now the design seems to be a mish mash of the latest trends without any original ideas.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think both the S40 and S60 should be 5 door hatches. The trunk lids are so short, you can't fit much in them that isn't a thin rectangle. But at least ditching the S40 sedan for a 5 door is a good idea. Makes the car more useful, and flexible, and it looks like a hatch now anyway, like a lot of sedans with the high rump look.

      They need to keep the diagonal bar - IDs the car from far away, ties into the trucks too.

      I don't know if it's a good idea to copy BMW. BMW buyers are not likely to switch to a Volvo. Probably better to go after people who rotate luxury models, like Acura, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti. Those people aren't that brand loyal as BMW people, in my experience. Some people like something different every 2 years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the article says the name will change from S40 to V30, but you say S40 to V40....
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW is a great car company, and despite hardcore BMW enthusiast opinions about the styling, numbers don't lie. BMW year after year is posting record sales. You don't need to be a BMW to be successful or appealing. While it should be a compliment to BMW that so many manufactures try to chase after the BMW (Lexus, and now a days, Cadillac). But manufactures have to realize they don't really need to be like BMW to sell well.

      BMW buyers are going to buy BMW. Volvo buyers are going to buy Volvo. Point, end.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Darn right! Volvo will not be producing BMW clones. They have said repeatedly that they are not a performance-oriented car company, but car mags just can't help themselves.

        The article is just a lot of mindless speculation. Take for example the statement: "Volvo engineers are understood to be fighting an internal battle with bean-counters to get the funds to develop an enthusiast-friendly chassis." So, the chassis has yet to be designed? There are already test mules for the running gear of any car that going to be released in 2009.

        Don't these guys have any concept of the development timeline for a new car?

        • 7 Years Ago
        I totally agree. Very well said SSBR
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