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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.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Dutch website NU recently reported that Volvo expects low demand for its C30 Electric, and therefore it decided to stop building the mostly electric car (it has a small, ethanol-burning heater to keep passengers warm). The original source for this information was a story in the Belgian newspaper The Age that cited Volvo's government affairs director, Anders Kärrberg. Turns out, this isn't quite right.
First, Volvo has always said the C30 Electric is a limited program. When the company started making the attractive EV in last summer, the public plan was to make just 250 units. So, the fact that the automaker is getting ready to finish up building the 250 units and then reevaluate the situation is not a surprise.
We asked Volvo's Malin Persson about the situation, and she told Autoblog that "[it has] never been our aim to continue with production of C30 Electric for a longer period of time." She added that:
- [Volvo Car Corporation] will not end the production of the C30 Electric - but it has always been a project limited in numbers and time.
- Approximately 200 cars have been built from the first generation, another 50 remain to be built before summer.
- In the second generation, starting after the summer, 100 cars will be built in cooperation with Siemens and with Siemens technology.
- The know-how and experience VCC has gained and will gain from the C30 Electric project will be extremely valuable when taking decisions about the way forward when it comes to electric cars.
Tags: c30, C30 Electric, c30 ev, c30 production, Electric, Hatchback, malin persson, Plants/Manufacturing, Volvo
Saab may be gone but Scandinavian cool in motoring is not. Without much fanfare, boxy, old Volvo has become curvaceous, airy and rather desirable. It may have something to do with coffee. More »
Our spy photographers have manged to lay lenses on the new Volvo V40 as engineers put the vehicle through a little cold-weather testing. Until just recently, we'd heard that the five-door version of the C30 would be called the V30, but Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby has confirmed that the model will actually come wearing V40 badges.
Whatever they call it, Volvo is hoping the new machine will be capable of giving the Audi A3 Sportback and BMW X1 a run for their respective Euros. Details are understandably scarce at the moment, though we feel safe assuming the V40 will debut with a range of gasoline and diesel engine options.
The most potent of that bunch will likely be a 240-horspeower turbocharged four-cylinder that puts power to the front wheels... which certainly sounds like a good time to us. So far, Volvo hasn't said word one about an all-wheel-drive variant, though there's some indication that a plug-in hybrid may show its face in the near future.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Volvo enthusiasts should know the name Polestar well. The performance garage has a long history of tuning Volvos, and was anointed by the factory to run its works touring car program. Based on that success, Polestar launched a radical C30 PCP concept that is tipped to jump-start a new era of performance models from the Swedish auto marque.
Most recently, Volvo turned to Polestar to help tweak its R-Design specs, and had the tuning house start work on an ECU reflash for the S60. Now Volvo has officially announced the availability of the fruit of its collaboration with an upgrade for select models.
For $1,295 (including installation), owners of the C30, C70 and S40 (and soon the V50) with the T5 engine will be able to have an extra 23 horsepower and 29 pound-feet of torque squeezed out of their turbocharged five-pots with a dealer-installed tuning package.
The enhancement is affected by increasing airflow and optimizing spark timing, and while the aftermarket could surely squeeze out more for less, for a factory-backed upgrade, it strikes us as a good deal. Follow the jump for the full press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Volvo C30 is nearing the end of its lifecycle and that means Volvo can take its compact hatch in one of two directions: plug on with a three-door variant or make a more spacious five-door to compete with the Audi A3.
According to Autobild and based off these previous spy shots, Volvo plans to go the latter route, with a new stretched hatchback to take on the BMW X1, upcoming Mercedes-Benz BLK and Volkswagen Golf abroad. Slated to arrive sometime next year, the so-called V30 would pack a range of gasoline and diesel mills, maxing out with a 240-horsepower four-cylinder driving the front wheels. There's not talk of an all-wheel-drive version, but an all-electric variant that extends the capabilities and range of the C30 EV prototypes running around Europe is most certainly in the cards.Permalink | Email this | Comments