This is the new Volvo V30, a new model tipped to slot between the C30 hatch and V50 estate. Volvo top brass freely admit they cocked up when they launched the C30 as a three-door coupe-style hatch when most buyers demand the practicality of five doors.
So the new model – yet to be officially named but loosely dubbed V30 – will offer the flexibilty of five doors and a full tailgate, as previewed in our new spy photos.
Volvo V30: the lowdown
Expect to see the new V30 hatch launched later in 2012. This is an incremental model which will be in addition to today’s C30 and V50, rather than directly replacing them.
Although we are likely to see the new small Volvo in 2012, UK sales may not begin until the year after. Further down the line, company sources suggest a smaller SUV spun off the V30 is being considered – an XC30, if you will.
Tell us about the V30’s engineering
It is based on the existing Volvo small car architecture, which means front-wheel drive and the likely debut of the company’s new family of more eco-biased engines. These were recently announced and will concentrate on smaller capacity, downsized four-cylinders of less than 2.0 litres in capacity. Sadly, the days of Volvo’s quirky five-pots appear to be numbered.
Although our new scoop photos are taken from a long distance away, you can make out a wedgy, pumped-up hatch profile which appears to have an unusually fast angle of rear screen. This suggests the V30 may not wholly sacrifice style for functionality, pitching it in the mould of an Alfa Giulietta as much as a sensible VW Golf.
The car was designed under the watch of Peter Horbury, who returned to Volvo from his posting in the US as head of North American design. He has now, however, been posted to parent company Geely in China. Such is the cosmopolitan life of a global design chief these days.