At the instigation of Volvo’s new boss Stefan Jacoby, the carmaker is prioritizing the development of an entry-level SUV. Part of a broader future model strategy, this SUV is expected to considerably boost sales in Europe. In the past few years, Volvo’s market share in Europe has dropped.
Volvo also aims for this new four-wheel drive to provide a basis for planned production activities in China as Geely is now its new owner.
The compact SUV will be known as XC30 and it will be equipped with performance, features and price that enable it to rival the new BMW X1, the upcoming Audi Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, a junior off-roader that’s currently under development.
XC30 will arrive at UK showrooms by the end of 2013, according to Autocar. The XC30 is based on a four-wheel-drive version of the existing C30’s contemporary unitary platform, known internally as the P1 structure.
The XC30 is designed to attract younger buyers and to offer the same level of profitability as the XC60, the company’s best-selling model.
According to insiders, the five-seat XC30 is immediately recognizable as a Volvo. Its appearance is “in the mould of the XC60 but with added visual dynamism and a class-leading interior.”
Measuring 4350mm long, the new Volvo is 280mm shorter than the two-year-old XC60. Volvo’s choice to prioritize the XC30 has affected the new S40, which is being indefinitely suspended about 18 months out from its scheduled introduction.