Every upcoming Volvo previewed
Volvo and its electric car sister brand Polestar are planning to introduce five new models in the next few years. Here's everything we know about them so far...
Volvo is forging ahead in areas such as self-driving technology and safety, as well as challenging the way people use their cars, with a subscription service that sees users pay a monthly fee for access to Volvo models. And in the next five years, the Swedish brand is planning to bring at least four new models to market. In addition, there will be at least one new model from Volvo's sister brand, Polestar.
All of Volvo's future models will be designed and built to be electrified. Indeed, Volvo earlier this year committed to only selling plug-in hybrid and electric cars by 2025 – five years before the government's proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes into effect – before switching to a fully electric brand within the next 20 years.
Below we take a look at what's coming when from Volvo and its Polestar sister brand.
On sale: late 2021
The original Volvo V40 was a family hatchback that went on sale in 2012 and finally disappeared from showrooms only last year. Initially, it was thought that Volvo would replace the car with an all-new hatchback, but now the brand is instead likely to use the V40 name on a new coupé-SUV, given the growing appetite for such cars among European buyers. Indeed, Volvo officials confirmed to our sister title, Autocar, in 2019 that the V40 would not be directly replaced, adding that the brand would look to add "another bodystyle" to its range within the coming years. Volvo does not currently have a coupé-SUV among its model line-up, so using the V40 name for such a car would plug that gap handily.
The new V40 would, therefore, be designed to rival the Audi Q3 Sportback and BMW X2, and would be built from the ground up to accommodate electric power. Volvo ditched diesel engines from its lineup earlier this year, and given the time at which the V40 would arrive, a solely petrol-powered version seems unlikely. Power options are likely to be built around plug-in hybrids, and indeed the main option is expected to be the same 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor that's already used in the XC40 T5 plug-in hybrid. That model can officially travel for up to 27 miles on electric power alone.
A fully electric V40 is planned, too, using the same 402bhp electric motor as the recently launched XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, which has a range of up to 260 miles between charges.
Inside, expect a subtle evolution on what we've grown accustomed to in the most recent Volvo models, with a portrait-oriented infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard, a digital instrument cluster and high-end materials throughout.
On sale: late 2021
Polestar is the performance-oriented sister brand to Volvo, and the its first two models, the aptly-named Polestar 1 and Polestar 2, have already impressed us. The firm's third model was previewed by the Precept concept car earlier this year, and, in production, will take the form of a sports SUV. The Polestar 3 is expected to be fully electric, although technical details such as its range and power output haven't been confirmed yet. Among the features which are likely to carry over from the Precept concept onto the production Polestar 3 are cameras in place of traditional door mirrors, as well as seats and dashboard parts made featuring a large portion of recycled materials. A 15in portrait-oriented touchscreen will be used for infotainment, with a separate 12.5in digital instrument cluster putting the most relevant information right in front of the driver.
On sale: 2022
While Volvo's smallest SUV is currently the XC40, rumours have suggested for years that the company has plans to introduce a smaller SUV model to its range, dubbed the XC20. Set to rival the Audi Q2 and Volkswagen T-Roc, as well as the upcoming Mercedes EQA, the XC20 would arrive first in purely electric form, with multiple plug-in hybrid variants expected to arrive at a later date. A range of at least 250 miles between charges is expected from the fully electric version, with drive sent to the front wheels. It will be the first Volvo to use new underpinnings developed by Volvo's parent firm, Geely.
Although the XC20 name is not set in stone, Volvo has trademarked the name in key markets including the US, Australia and Europe. The brand also owns the XC10 name, but it's understood that such a model does not, at the moment at least, factor into Volvo's future plans.
On sale: 2022
Despite being one of the older cars in its class, the current Volvo XC90 luxury SUV (above) remains a solid choice, with plug-in hybrid power available and a classy interior. For its next iteration, however, the XC90 is going fully electric, as confirmed by Volvo officials earlier this year. It's likely that a plug-in hybrid XC90 will be sold alongside the fully electric model, with at least one mild hybrid petrol – which will use small amounts of electrical assistance to improve fuel economy – offered too.
Inside, the new XC90 will continue to offer space for seven people and will feature the most advanced self-driving technology yet seen on the brand's cars – both attributes embodied by its key rival, the Tesla Model X. Indeed, back in June Volvo unveiled an XC90 developed in collaboration with ride-hailing firm Uber that was claimed to be capable of driving itself. Don't think that means you'll be able to drive with your hands off the steering wheel all the time, though – officials have already said that while the XC90 will be capable of travelling by itself in contained environments, such as on the motorway, the system is not designed to make the car fully autonomous for every journey. What's more likely is that drivers will guide the car to the motorway, and take control again when leaving it.
New Volvo family car
On sale: 2023
With the V40 badge instead being used for a new coupé-SUV, Volvo will be left with a hole in its range for a small but premium family car to take on rivals including the Mini hatchback and Audi A3. While little is known about when or in what form a new Volvo family car could surface, it would arrive first as a purely electric car and would feature the same highly automated self-driving technology as the new XC90 above.
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