Volvo is considering a replacement model for its V40 hatchback. But where would the model fit into the current portfolio?
Volvo globally and in South Africa are in a great space. The current arsenal are all highly-lauded products with most having either won a category or been a finalist in the #CarsAwards-powered by WesBank. It's interesting to note that while the majority of the range comprises SUVs, there are still some sedans and station wagons. The only model missing from the lineup is a hatchback and you may recall the V40 was discontinued back in 2019. Since that announcement, there has been no word on a new model and its understandable, given the push into SUVs and the popularity of the XC40.
UK outlet Auto Express had a chat to Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s Senior Vice-President for E Europe, the Middle East and Africa regarding the replacement for this model. “We need to do something more creative,” said Kerssemakers. “That’s why we have decided to not just replace the V40 on a one-to-one basis. There are two things you can’t exclude in the thinking process towards the next generation of V40. The high seating position is really an issue, and we see a lot of people moving from V40 into XC40. I was part of it and ran the project when we started the XC40; that polarisation between high and low was much stronger 5 years ago. Now you see even the die-hard low seating people moving to the higher seats. I personally think they may move back in a while because it’s a different driving experience, but it’s a trend. There’s also the fact that you cannot offer a new car any more – now, already – which is not equipped to be fully electrified."
So what does this mean exactly? Essentially, there could be an electrified baby SUV to rival things like the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X2 and Audi Q2, and if Auto Express' report is on the money, we'll see Volvo's new car going on sale in 2022. If like us, you are wondering how a small SUV would fit in alongside the XC40, then think of it as the BMW X2 to the X1. Volvo hasn't followed the German trend of producing a coupe SUV for every regular SUV it produces, so this venture into a smaller XC40 would see it sail into untested waters.