Amidst economic turmoil, the less-than-stellar news continues to develop in Europe. In the context of automobile industry, Belgium appears to be the latest region to feel the effects of the crisis, as Volvo has announced it will reduce production in its Ghent facility in 2013.
We were more than a little bummed when Volvo proclaimed it didn't intend to bless the United States with its V40 hatchback/wagon. We're even more bummed now that there's this newly debuted R Design model at the Paris Motor Show.
Volvo fans that have dreamed of having the convenient size of a small wagon or hatchback with the trendy styling of a crossover are today one step closer to living in automotive paradise. After recently releasing every bit of granular detail about the model, Volvo has gone ahead and pulled the curtain back on its V40 Cross Country.
Just a week after seeing the attractive Volvo V40 small wagon in R-Design trim, the Swedish automaker has dropped the details on its Cross Country version. Effectively a scaled-down version of the XC70 wagon we see in the States, the V40 Cross Country adds all-wheel drive ability and butched-up looks to give the car added functionality in a convenient footprint.
As if we weren't already jealous enough about Europe getting one of the safest and most stylish Volvo cars ever made, the Swedish automaker goes and drops the R-Design treatment on its new hatchback/wagon. Unlike some other R-Design models, the 2013 Volvo V40 R-Design doesn't get any additional power under the hood, but it does come with a more aggressive styling and a lower, firmer suspension setup.
One of the safest cars ever built will not be sold in the United States. The Euro NCAP, similar to our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, put the all-new 2013 Volvo V40 through a battery of crash tests and found that it is one of the safest cars it has tested.
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.
If you read our recent First Drive of the 2013 Volvo V40, you no doubt remember our verdict: "If the V40 does not make it over to the U.S., then Volvo should issue guns to its entire executive staff so they can summarily shoot themselves in the foot."
When a new hatchback or sport wagon hits the European market, it's only a matter of time before the tuners get their hands on it. And in the case of the new Volvo V40, that comes at the hand of Heico Sportiv.
A keen-eyed reader managed to snag a few photos of what looks to be the upcoming Volvo XC40 ahead of the vehicle's debut at the Paris Motor Show. Like most manufacturers, Volvo is keen to offer buyers the small crossovers they demand. With a taller ride height, more ground clearance and a more aggressive front fascia than the V40, the XC40 should do just that.
The emergence of the V40 is arguably the biggest news to come out of Volvo since Ford sold it to Geely. Just as with any new car – European hatchbacks especially – the aftermarket will follow shortly with modifications, and in the case of Volvo, that means Heico Sportiv.
Volvo sold 449,255 cars globally in 2011, with 67,240 of those sales coming from right here in the States. By 2020, CEO Stefan Jacoby aims to boost those numbers to 800,000 sales globally and 120,000 here, and to do so, he can't let the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro stand in the way. That's why, according to a report in Automotive News, Jacoby says the company will spend "the next two or three years" considering building a plant in the U.S. or Mexico.
Above all else, Volvo is known in car circles as being the foremost innovator in technologies intended to improve the safety of its vehicles. While we most often think of the safety of a car's internal occupants, it's important to remember than a two-ton weapon of mass destruction moving at highway speeds is also extremely dangerous to pedestrians outside the car.
Few vehicles have received the kind of gradual, bit by bit roll-out that – intentionally or otherwise – the new Volvo V40 has. The Swedish premium hatchback has been the subject of teasers, spy shots and leaks aplenty – including two video clips and a batch of sixteen images that surfaced just yesterday – but they've all lead up to this, its full reveal. (Well, this and its official unveiling next week.)
Two images of the 2013 Volvo V40 broke onto Facebook recently and it seems their friends didn't want to be left behind. Fourteen more press shots of Volvo's new five-door hatchback just burgled their way onto the Web, and from the front three-quarter it looks like a worthy competitor to the the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.
Some automakers try their damnedest to keep their new products under wraps until they're good and ready to show it to the world. (And of those, some succeed more than others.) Others, meanwhile, steadily leak out photos and details – through official channels or back ones – to keep us hooked. We're not quite sure which approach Volvo meant to take with its all-new V40, but we do know we've seen more of this car that's yet to be released than we've seen of others that have. This, howe