Volvo plots Golf rival, luxury saloon and sporty coupe

Published: 29 April 2013

Volvo is creating an entry-level hatchback below the V40, spearheading a new range of Volvos that includes a new crossover and a BMW 5-series rival. The new cars will be based on one of two all-new architectures that’ll underpin the brand’s entire range from 2016. CAR has also learned a sporty 2+2 coupe is in the pipeline.

Is Volvo really going after the mainstream hatchback big boys?

Yes – it’s bye-bye to the quirky C30 three-door hatch, and into a new era of small models for Volvo. First on the new platform is a new entry-level crossover: the XC40. It’ll be sized and priced to bridge the gap between the jacked-up V40 Cross Country and the XC60 SUV, and will fight the upcoming Mercedes GLA and BMW X1 for posh crossover honours from 2015.

Next up will be a regular five-door hatchback, (smaller than the quasi-estate V40) and a slightly larger, more spacious replacement for the now-defunct S40 small saloon.

What’s coming next from Volvo?

Volvo’s biggest model, the seven-seater XC90 SUV, is next to be replaced. In 2014 we’ll see the long-awaited second-gen version: it’ll be based on Volvo’s other new scalable underpinnings, codenamed ‘SPA’.   The SPA platform will form the basis for a large chunk of the Volvo family, from the new XC90 right down to the next S60 saloon and XC60 SUV, both due to follow in 2016.
At the top end of the Volvo range, the Swedes are plotting a new S90 saloon to challenge the Audi A6 and BMW 5-series. Naturally, Volvo will offer an estate version – the V90 should offer class-leading load space when it arrives in 2016.

Like your Volvos curvier? In 2016 we’re set to see a new ‘C60’ 2+2-seater coupe, with swoopy looks inspired by the classic 1960s-era P1800. It too will be based on the SPA platform, and square up to the Audi A5 and BMW 4-series.

Volvo's new range:



Key rival

On sale



VW Golf



Small estate

Audi A3 Sportback



Compact crossover




Small saloon

BMW 3-series



Small SUV




Executive saloon

BMW 5-series



Executive estate

Audi A6 Avant



Large SUV

Land Rover Discovery




BMW 4-series


What’ll power the cars of Volvo’s new era?

No more in-line five-cylinder or six-pots as of 2016: Volvo’s future lies in turbocharged three- and four-cylinder technology. Insiders claim Volvo will extract up to 204bhp from its three-pots, and 304bhp from the four-cylinder motors, with plug-in hybrid propulsion able to offer up to 100bhp extra.

The hybrid tech has been seen on Volvo’s V60 Plug-In, the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid production car. It’s capable of a combined 155mpg and emitting 43g/km of CO2 – though at £43,775 even after a £5k grant from the government, Volvo’s hybrid future will need to drop in price before buyers really start to bite.

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel