Volvo Cars once again is changing its model names to make the badges for its sedans and wagons more distinct from each other.
The current badging scheme, begun in January 1998, introduced letter prefixes: 'S' for sedan, 'V' for wagon and 'C' for coupes and convertibles. That stays the same.
But sedans and wagons shared the same number designations, as in S40 sedan/V40 wagon and S70 sedan/V70 wagon. That part is changing.
Henceforth, Volvo will have an 'even numbered' sedan lineup of S40, S60 and S80. The S60 bows this fall, for the 2001 model year.
Wagons will be 'odd numbered,' like the all-new V70 that goes on sale in April as a 2001 model. The new scheme also implies that the replacement for the small V40 wagon - which is at least two years away - could be badged V50. And a future top-of-the-line wagon could be called V90.
Under the skin, the S60, V70, S80 and a possible V90 all share Volvo's large-car platform. The all-new S40 and V50, if that is what it is called, will be the first cars on a new small-car platform.
Volvo says the new badging scheme is meant to convey how fundamentally different its sedans and wagons really are.
Starting with the 1999 S80, Volvo began giving wagons and sedans different interiors and much more distinct exterior styling.