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Tokyo show: Volvo confirms XC40 ‘will come’

Next move: The V40 Cross Country is Volvo’s entry-level crossover offering, but this is set to be joined by the XC40 before too long.

Volvo upbeat about all-new XC40 small SUV but no production nod for Concept Coupe

21 Nov 2013


VOLVO looks set to introduce a dedicated premium small SUV to its burgeoning line-up, confirming this week that a concept vehicle previewing an ‘XC40’ would emerge at some point.

The Chinese-owned Swedish brand is preparing to join other European marques in offering a small SUV, including BMW with its X1, the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz, which is gearing up to launch its new GLA early next year.

While Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson told GoAuto at the Frankfurt motor show in September that a small SUV was firmly on the agenda, Volvo Car Corporation senior vice-president Lex Kerssmakers confirmed in Tokyo this week that the company intended to enter the segment and that a concept previewing its future model direction would be shown.

“Yeah of course, I am a product planner so I am dreaming about an XC40,” Mr Kerssmakers told GoAuto in Tokyo.

“That would fit very naturally in our product portfolio so we are definitely looking at it. The small SUV market is really growing so we definitely want to be a part of it.”

Sales of the premium compact SUV segment in Australia were up by 62 per cent to the end of October compared to the same period last year.

Mr Kerssmakers said a concept vehicle paving the way to the production XC40 would be shown, but he could not put a timeframe on its unveiling.

“When, I can’t tell you, but it will come,” he said.

The Swedish car-maker used the Tokyo show to display its super-stylish Concept Coupe that premiered at the Frankfurt show two months ago.

At that time, Volvo said the ‘CC’ was the first of three concepts previewing its next-generation design language and potential future models.

Mr Kerssmakers confirmed Volvo would rip the covers off the second concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January next year.

However, he said this concept will not preview the XC40, which would be “much further out”.

Volvo released its V40 Cross Country hatchback in August this year, but aside from some rugged styling flourishes, it does not fit the dedicated compact SUV mould.

Meanwhile, one Volvo that is unlikely to make it into production – despite reports suggesting otherwise – is the aforementioned Concept Coupe.

There had been speculation since its debut at Frankfurt that Volvo would green-light a small production run of the stunning coupe, but Mr Kerssmakers delivered the bad news that it would remain a concept-only vehicle.

“It is a one-off concept car, and because we wanted to test a few elements – interior design, exterior design, proportions. And of course when the car is well received, instantly there is a discussion going on ‘can’t we make a few” and this and that.

“But at the moment it’s just discussions internally and externally. The status is very simple – it’s a one-off car and we have no plans to produce it.”

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