Volvo Unveils Two Small Concept Cars

Volvos come in three sizes. The XC90 SUV and S90 sedan are the biggest cars Volvo makes. In the middle are their 60 series cousins. Volvo will be introducing restyled versions of its midrange cars in the coming months. Last week it unveiled two new concept cars that show where its smallest products, the 40 series cars, are heading once the rollout of the new middle size cars is complete.

Volvo 40 series concept

Volvo, which is now owned by China’s Geely Motors, has been on a roll, design-wise lately. The newest XC90 SUV is a handsome beast that is selling like popcorn at a movie theater during school vacation week. Volvo stylist have taken a different but equally impressive approach toward its smallest cars.

“Each member of our product family has its own distinct character, just like the members of a real family,” Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s head of design, said in a statement. “They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out amongst the crowd. This is the flavor of small Volvos to come.” He drew an analogy between cars and shoes. The 90 series cars are fancy leather shoes for stepping out in high fashion. The 60 series cars are a more casual shoe in suede and the 40 series cars will now be bold black and white wing tips designed to appeal to younger drivers.

Volvo 40 series concept

The new 40 series cars are expected to enter production in 2017. They will be built on Volvo’s new small car chassis dubbed CMA. It will support conventional drivetrains as well as hybrid and fully electric power units. The battery car is reported to have 215 miles of range. The plug-in will be called the T5 TwinEngine and feature a three cylinder gasoline engine coupled to a transmission/electric motor unit with 7 forward speeds.

The names of the concepts are uninspiring. The 40.1 is a crossover vehicle while the 40.2 is a hatchback sedan. But the styling is most unconventional and quite handsome in a bold, unorthodox sort of way. Both cars could see CrossCountry versions with raised suspension and body cladding at some point.

Smaller, more nimble crossovers are much in demand these days. Volvo is positioning its new 40 series cars to compete in a market segment that is white hot.

Volvo CMA chassis

Source: AutoBlog.  Photo credits: Volvo

 

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.