Up or down? That's the question about which way Volvo is going to take its brand: solidly into premium, full-size sedan luxury or into a smaller near-premium offering to challenge what is, right now, a very hot segment. Most of the chatter has centered around the former option, with Volvo declaring it would go for the top luxury guns, a patent filing suggesting an S100 flagship, and talk of a C90 luxury coupe to fight models like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.

In between, that there's been speculation on the other side, with reports that Volvo is looking for a partner on a small car. Officials have themselves confirmed that within ten years, they won't have an engine larger than four cylinders, and everyone figuring that Volvo will have to do something with the spot occupied by the expiring C30 other than rename it and add two doors. The V40 takes the fight to the A3 and BMW 1 Series five-door, but what about premium and popular subcompacts like the Mini Cooper, Audi A1 and A-Class?

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby tells Automotive News that the Swedish brand is considering a model in that space, but to do so would require not only the aformentioned partner, but a smaller engine. We're not sure what to make of the engine comment, since it apparently already has smaller engines planned for its larger line. If such a car comes, it won't be soon; Jacoby says his priorities now are "Volvo's core ranges" and getting the Scalable Platform Architecture fully integrated into the brand's next-generation cars. But with the scattershot temperament of Volvo news lately, who knows.


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  • 22 Comments
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the C30 wasn't priced like a small luxury car, it would have been far more successful. Agree with others that they really need a good S40.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brgtlm
        Agree -- I don't see anything wrong with the C30 in this segment except for the price. I would much prefer one over the Mini Cooper but a 25% price increase is significant.
        johnbravo6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brgtlm
        Volvo's biggest problem is the Volvo reputation. The C30 had undefeatable traction control, it was too much luxury, marketed to the safety sallies despite being a pretty decent chassis, with a relatively powerful engine with loads of potential. Despite what the government and media keep preaching, safety doesn't sell. And even if it does, certainly not sports cars. Not to mention, it drives the price through way up.
      Bill
      • 2 Years Ago
      Going retro is unimaginative, but make a 4/5 scale 242 GT Turbo and I might bite.
      telm12345
      • 2 Years Ago
      The one thing that Volvo needs, more than anything, to compete with the likes of MINI and its current competitors (BMW, Audi, etc.) is driving dynamics. I'm not talking about the R-design, they just need to tighten it all up. MINI is not perfect, but it is a just plain fun to drive (just tested Clubman S manual...and a GTI). Its also why people do buy MINIs despite its shortcomings. I can't see Volvo being successful with this without drastically tightening its performance. I really hope it does so I can add it to the shopping list.
      wanderlust
      • 2 Years Ago
      AWD and a turbo 4 combined with reasonable transmission choices would make it win.
      Alex740
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Volvo needs to go upmarket as well as down and that seems to be the message we are getting. Mercedes and Audi both do it and so will Volvo. I think the C30 is one of the best looking hatches out there but the performance wasn't there and the price was too high, I'd love to see Volvo offer a Mini competitor but what a unique and modern design that still has plenty of personality. I like Minis but retro styling is so 10 years ago. ;)
      icerabbit
      • 2 Years Ago
      Volvo months ago: We're not going to do small cars anymore. Volvo now: We are going to create a competing small car. Will you please make up your mind? The whole upmarket thing is going to back fire. Your product base and installed base isn't broad enough. How about updating your long overdue bread-and-butter vehicles? And, importing a few more models with a few extra options to pick from? ...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      tump
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh sure, car companies, let's ALL go upscale. Screw the reasonably priced market. This is absurd. Next thing you know, Toy-freakin'-ota will have a $445,000 car or some crazy thing.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Volvo really needs to consider resurrecting the S40 and redesigning the S80 before they try to conquer the niche markets.
      Emil
      • 2 Years Ago
      look at that Volvo; Toyota and Honda will not make a little car in the same league of styling within 100 years!
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Volvo really needs to consider bringing back the S40 and completely redesigning the S80 instead of trying to fit into the niche markets before they try to conquer the niche markets.
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