Volvo already has the platform for a small premium SUV and is close to launching a suitable range of three-cylinder engines

Volvo XC20 small crossover is on the cards to fit beneath the upcoming XC40 and rival cars such as the Audi Q2.

Volvo’s head of R&D, Henrik Green, said: “It’s not a problem to have an XC20,” given that the car maker has both the platform hardware and the engines to suit a model pitched against the Q2.

“The CMA platform can be made smaller,” said Green of the new Compact Modular Architecture small car platform that the company is codeveloping with Geely for the XC40, the next-generation V40 and sister brand Lynk&Co.

Volvo XC40 - clearest pics of BMW X1 rival show Concept 40.1 influence

Speaking at a preview event for the new XC60 SUV in Sweden last week, Green said that although the hatchback C-segment in which the V40 competes continues to be the largest in Europe, the boom in the sales of SUVs and crossovers looks like continuing and is being closely watched by the manufacturer.

Sales of small SUVs are expected to exceed two million by 2018, according to forecaster LMC Automotive, having reached 1.4 million sales last year.

Most of these models are from mainstream volume manufacturers such as Nissan Peugeot, Renault, and Suzuki. Audi’s recently launched Q2 is the only premium model in the segment, potentially indicating a major opportunity for Volvo.

2017 Volvo XC60 - first passenger ride

Green said it’s “much easier to reduce the CMA platform’s length than it is its width”. Length is the more critical dimension in terms of the car being perceived as a small SUV, and the additional width probably won’t matter from a styling perspective. However, the extra weight and aerodynamic frontal area could slightly compromise the car’s performance and economy.

Besides having a broadly suitable platform, Volvo also has an appropriate range of powertrains. Its new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged version of the Drive-E four-cylinder engine is “almost ready”, said Green.

“It can go in any vehicle in the range (including the XC90), so it’s a marketing decision on which models to fit it to,” he said. The engine is reported to be capable of producing well over 150bhp in its most powerful form.

2017 Volvo XC60 costs from £37,205

As well as offering petrol and diesel versions of the three-cylinder engine, Volvo is developing additional electrified drivetrains.

“We’re looking at broad solutions that are affordable,” said Green. Volvo’s aim is to put these technologies within reach of more buyers than is presently the case with the plug-in hybrid models Volvo offers today.

These and a growing range of SUVs should enable Volvo to get closer to the 800,000 annual sales that it’s targeting for 2020.

Last year it sold 534,000 cars worldwide, a rise of 6.2%. The sales momentum is likely to be maintained with the replacement of its biggest-selling XC60 this autumn and the XC40’s arrival next year.

Our Verdict

Volvo XC90
The new Volvo XC90 costs from £45,750

It has big boots to fill and talented rivals to face. Is it up to the task?

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Comments
8

15 May 2017
Wouldn't hold the Q2 up as a target as I'm pretty sure it's been a sales disaster, I've only seen one in almost 6 months. Either way Volvo is more mainstream than premium at V40 level these days so in the C segment at least it should stick to competing against Peugeot, Vauxhall etc.
At the smaller crossover level class isn't so important, or as profitable.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 May 2017
xxxx wrote:

Wouldn't hold the Q2 up as a target as I'm pretty sure it's been a sales disaster, I've only seen one in almost 6 months.

Well that's the SMMT obsolete then.


15 May 2017
bomb wrote:
xxxx wrote:

Wouldn't hold the Q2 up as a target as I'm pretty sure it's been a sales disaster, I've only seen one in almost 6 months.

Well that's the SMMT obsolete then.

Wasn't stating figures like the SMMT only making personal observations and a general comment my experiences. Thought that was pretty clear.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 July 2017
xxxx wrote:

Either way Volvo is more mainstream than premium at V40 level these days so in the C

I would say Volvo is a lot less mainstream than any of the German brands.. Audi and BMW are repmobilies, they are the new Ford and Vauxhall of the UK car market. 

15 May 2017
very Chinese looking, could almost be the next MG

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 May 2017
I think this is not to bad,would be interesting to see Volvo's take on a small Car.

Peter Cavellini.

15 May 2017
Not sure, sort of like it, but there is a resemblance to a v90xc cut and shut.
Spanner

15 May 2017
Is this one going to cost about 30K despite being the same size as a Suzuki Vitara?

If it does eventually cost that much to buy, that's a lot of money for something that will probably be average to drive, with average reliability and customer service, and come from a company that still has money worries.

It will probably have a nice dashboard though.

 

Everyone has a right to an opinion - don't confuse that with insulting your mother :-)

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