2013 Volvo V40

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.