2013 Volvo V40
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  • 2013 Volvo V40 front 3/4 view

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Volvo vice president of powertrain engineering, Derek Crabb, recently said that the Swedish automaker is developing smaller and smarter powertrain options that will "turn V8s into dinosaurs" – a statement that could have been our first indication that Volvo is no longer looking to create a luxury flagship sedan to take on German land yachts like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. Now Automotive News seems to be backing this up after speaking with CEO Hakan Samuelsson, who said that a big sedan wouldn't fit the brand's green image and, more importantly, might not even be a car that its customers would even consider.

Rather than trying to compete in a small, established market against rear-drive, 12-cylinder sedans, Volvo is looking at the emerging, higher-volume premium small car segment to take on its German rivals with the all-new Volvo V40 (shown above). Not wanting to abandon the big-vehicle segment altogether, a next-generation XC90 is due out within the next couple years (and was spotted in some recent spy shots), and it will ride on the new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which will be shared with the new S80 according to the AN article.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 58 Comments
      Spartan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Could you imagine what a different conversation this would be had Volvo stuck to RWD?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        brucec039
        • 2 Years Ago
        I guess you subscribe to the \"boxy but good\" school of design.
      Dane Grant
      • 2 Years Ago
      Volvo use to have a soul. Boxy, but good.... Maybe they should just try to stay where they are and be the best at what they are. I also think they under estimate the North American market. The V40 might do better then they think here... Price it to compete with Volkswagen, Lower Audi range and higher Ford ranges.
      Wetstuff
      • 2 Years Ago
      A V40 oil burner would tap into VW's sales of the TDi. Just do it. Jim
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Wetstuff
        Problem is, Jetta TDI sales may be big in the world of TDI sales, but they are not that big in the grand scheme of things. It's a very small market
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      Then why the heck did they release that ugly concept last year? They've been on the fence about going the luxury route or not, for past few years. I don't know what Volvo's deal is, perhaps lack of funds from Geely, but it's time to stop talking and start bringing products that aren't just on par with competition, but which also excel in 2-3 areas, whether safety, styling, driving dynamics. No more silly PR statements which remind me of Fisker, or Aston Martin...read "we're broke, but won't admit to it".
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        tinted up
        • 2 Years Ago
        Hell their bicycles weight about as much as a jet, shittiest bikes on the planet.
          imoore
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tinted up
          Not surprising, considering Huffy, Murray, Roadmaster and Schwinn are now owned by the same Chinese manufacturer and are all made in China.
          kcroc10077
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tinted up
          +1
      Iosif Bogdan
      • 2 Years Ago
      v40 looks nice but it's waaaay out of its league next to an a3, 1 series or a-class. And yet only marginally cheaper. Basically, it's the cheapest premium car for fools who can either barely afford getting a car in this class, snobs who will buy anything uncommon or simple minded older people with a fixation about volvo's magic safety dust. It would've been a whole different story if the v40 were priced to fight Golf, Astra, Focus, etc.
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Iosif Bogdan
        I'll give you the RWD 1 series but the V40 is very much in the same class and competitive with the A3 and A class, all FWD based cars with nice interiors.
          Alex740
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          Except for the fact that it's safer, has more tech, and is more refined & luxurious.
          Spartan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          It's also in the same class as the Ford Focus and VW GTI, and the Volvo above isn't even better than those two vehicles.
          ravenosa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alex740
          Yeah, but not as nice as an Accord - and the Accord will run circles around the nose heavy s40. The auto-transmissions are TERRIBLE, numb steering, uninspired and dated interiors, squishy brakes, mediocre stereos. I won't call it a luxury car, but one of the worst driving commuter cars I've ever driving. Even my friend, who LOVES to drive, admitted he didn't buy it for its driving dynamics. Was sick of getting tickets by having a sporty car. So he got a Volvo.
      Dvanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like they learned from VWs Phaeton failure, smart move Volvo. Small premium cars are the future.
        kcroc10077
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dvanos
        I agree and as a bonus I like driving smaller cars. Win-Win.
        789dm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dvanos
        Maybe they learn from Acura. I don't remember Acura have any 7 series or S class fighter. But at least Volvo have/had RWD cars unlike Acura.
      Spartan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope Saab has a burial plot next to them. Volvo will be in it in about 10 years.
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      I say good: Volvo can't even woo customers away from the 3, 5 and 6 Series so why bother with the 7 until they fix their existing holes....namely: design. Volvo's current lineup of cars (save the C30 which they kindly wiped) is bland even by Volvo standards. Their front ends are just so character-less. The sharp front on the wagon above is a big step in the right direction as that's nicely contoured but the S60? S40? C'mon Volvo!
        brucec039
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jamiescale
        Interesting, as styling is cited as a \"reason to buy\" in surveys and car reviewers certainly don\'t seem to have a problem with the S60 front end.
      Alex740
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very smart move, Volvo would get no where trying to play catch up in a crowded market. Right sized and small premium is a far better market for Volvo to be in and will appeal more to their practical and progressive customer base.
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