Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson has given more details about the company’s plans to create a family of smaller models around its new compact modular architecture (CMA).
“The 40 series will be at the heart of the brand,” Samuelsson said at the Geneva motor show, where he also confirmed that he was prioritising building the crossover XC40 first to meet market demand.
The XC40 is expected to appear in 2018 and will be followed by V40 and S40 variants. Samuelsson also confirmed plans to sell these '40 series' models globally – previously small Volvos have been restricted to some markets – with this helping to boost the company’s volumes towards his target of building 800,000 cars a year. That’s a dramatic increase on the 500,000 cars that Volvo built last year.
The new CMA platform is being engineered in Sweden and will underpin all of Volvo’s smaller models as well as those built in China by parent company Geely.
Cars built on it will use both Volvo’s modular four-cylinder and three-cylinder engines, with Samuelsson also confirming that there will be 'Twin Engine' badged hybrids that will combine the three-cylinder motor with electrical assistance. He admits that, in Europe, he expects diesel sales to decline dramatically as new emissions standards come into force, and that he thinks smaller hybrids will replace them on a 1:1 basis.
Samuelsson also reiterated that we can anticipate a range of Polestar-tuned performance models in the near future, admitting that the forthcoming Volvo S90 and S60 were “good candidates”.