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Paris show: Volvo XC40 still four years away

Like this: The styling of Volvo's XC Concept might provide a clue to the design for the Swedish company's small XC40 SUV due in about 2018.

Baby SUV to be spun off next-gen Volvo V40 small-car architecture from 2018

3 Oct 2014


VOLVO has confirmed that a sub-XC60 compact SUV will be launched in about 2018 to take on the hugely successful Audi Q3 as it strives to launch all of its new core models over the next four years.

Described as a priority by Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson, the so-called XC40 will be based on the CMA platform under development with Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The architecture will serve as the underpinnings for all future small (and possibly lower-medium) passenger cars, crossovers and SUVs in the Swedish brand’s arsenal, as well as various undisclosed models from the Chinese firm.

“We are developing a smaller architecture with Geely called the CMA platform that is designed to replace first of all the V40, but it is designed to cover more bodystyles than just a hatchback,” Mr Samuelsson told GoAuto at the Paris motor show this week.

“A small SUV is high on the wishlist of the sort of vehicles that we should have. The timeframe is four years or something (like that).”

Interestingly, while Volvo believes it would be too difficult to profitably price a B-segment sized vehicle of any configuration below the 40-series, something smaller could be done with the upcoming C-car platform to meet consumer needs.

“No, I think there is a limit,” Mr Samuelsson revealed. “I think going down below the C-segment is not realistic for Volvo.

“But with the CMA, there could be different bodystyles – there could be a hatchback, an SUV and something a bit smaller (than the V40). It’s open.

“We have the architecture, so that is something we can come back to. It depends on the market developments.

“There is a trend to downsizing, with smaller families and single families that don’t necessarily need the back seat.

“But it would be very difficult for Volvo. Anyway it is something Geely could cover with the same architecture.”

The CMA is the second post-Ford era platform to be developed by Volvo and Geely after the Scalable Product Architecture that debuted under the second-generation XC90 in Paris.

It will also underpin all future medium and large passenger cars and SUVs such as next year’s S90 sedan, the 2016 XC60 replacement and successors to the long-in-the-tooth V70 and XC70.

Finally, Mr Samuelsson added that any future Volvo sportscar such as the well-received Concept XC Coupe from January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit or the Geneva show-stealing Concept Estate would only be considered after the mainstream gaps had been plugged.

“The first priority is to develop and introduce the bread and butter vehicles,” he said.

“Once we are through that process it will be four years. Then of course we can look at the other possibilities. The XC Coupe was a fantastic car but it won’t be included in the first wave of new models.”

This is despite of a better-than-anticipated critical and public reaction to the concepts – particularly the wagon-style Concept Estate that pays lip service to the Volvo P1800 ES of the early 1970s.

“First we had a very positive response with the XC Coupe, but then we got an even more fantastic response with the Concept Estate,” Mr Samuelsson said, adding that it was probably due to its old Volvo look.

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