Volvo's battery-powered revival
Crafting an all-electrified lineup, and an EV-only subbrand
Volvo is reaching the apex of its product redesign plans, making the next year a busy one for the automaker.
By 2019, Volvo has said, the XC90 — introduced in 2014 — will be the oldest vehicle in the lineup. After the 2018 XC60 introduction this year, Volvo is due to complete its revamping of the 60 series in the next year with the S60 sedan and V60 wagon, along with debut the entire 40 series.
The following year marks the beginning of the Geely-owned automaker's transition to fully or partially electrified powertrains. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson promised to introduce three electrified vehicles between 2019 and 2021, including an all-electric vehicle with about 250 miles of range.
Volvo also said it will spin out the high-performance Polestar line as a subbrand, consisting of all-electric vehicles — two of which are expected to come between 2019 and 2021.
From 2020 on, it's likely there will be several mild-hybrid refreshes of Volvo's stable to make good on its promise of having a battery-powered lineup.
XC40, S40, V40: The XC40 crossover is the first of three compact Volvo models to be built on a jointly developed platform with parent company Geely and sibling brand Lynk & CO. Volvo calls the front-wheel-drive platform Compact Modular Architecture, or CMA. In July, Volvo signed a memorandum of understanding to share technology with Lynk & CO and took a minority stake in the startup brand.
Volvo showed two concepts of the CMA architecture last year in Gothenburg, Sweden: the 40.1 concept, which gave a glimpse at the future XC40 crossover, and the 40.2, a sedan that likely would influence the reintroduction of the S40. A concept for the V40 station wagon was not shown. Since then, spy shots of the XC40 show the model bears a close resemblance to the 40.1 concept.
The upcoming compact vehicles will use Volvo's family of three- and four-cylinder engines and hybrid and electric powertrains. Advanced safety and semiautonomous driving features highlighted in the XC90, S90, V90 and XC60 will be included.
Fwd with a new three-cylinder engine likely will be standard on the 40 series. A new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission is expected. All-wheel-drive models will use Volvo's four-cylinder engines.
All three vehicles are expected to launch in the next year, beginning with the XC40 in late 2017.
XC60: The XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid variant of the redesigned midsize crossover is likely to come later this year.
V60: The redesigned V60 wagon will come in the first half of 2018, with a taller Cross Country variant following a few months later.
S60: A redesign of the compact sedan likely will arrive in the first half of 2018. The launch may coincide with the opening of Volvo's first U.S. factory, in South Carolina, which will manufacture the new vehicle.
XC90: Once it hits relative old age in 2019, the popular large crossover likely will be freshened with a mild-hybrid powertrain for the 2020 model year.
S90: The flagship sedan likely will have a T8 plug-in hybrid variant coming in 2018 and may see a mild-hybrid refresh in 2020.
V90: Deliveries of the wagon will begin this year. The taller Cross Country variant began sales in the U.S. this year. A T8 plug-in hybrid version of the Cross Country may follow next year.
Polestar: Announcements on Polestar products will come before the end of this year — including two electrified vehicles slated for between 2019 and 2021. Vehicles are expected to be similar to those offered by BMW's M and Mercedes-Benz's AMG badges.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.