Volvo looking for a partner to develop small cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2012

To cut the costs of new-car production, Volvo is on the search for a partner to share in the development of its future small car range, the Financial Times reported. Volvo has been owned by Geely since 2010 when the Chinese firm bought it from Ford. Volvo is eager to help in dividing the costs of making new cars. Volvo’s chief executive Stefan Jacoby told the FT that the company is open to the idea of partnering.

He said that the company is “open for collaboration in a win-win situation for sharing platforms, for sharing engines and for a general higher scale of economics.”

Jacoby said that there are several companies being considered but no detailed discussions have taken place yet. Since Jacoby moved to Volvo from Volkswagen in August 2010, he has streamlined the company and pushed for the development of a modular range of engines and a model platform that could underpin all types of vehicles from a hatchback to a large saloon.

In addition, he has decided to prioritize a new small car. In fact, the new V40 will be launched this March at the Geneva motor show.

The car was pushed up the product cycle to arrive before the replacement for the XC90 full-size SUV. Volvo’s five-door hatchback is expected to rival the BMW 1-series and Audi A3.

Audi’s compact segment comes out with the new A3 Sportback (5-door) and the 3-door A3. The high-end equipment and trim employed on each premium model further showcase Audi’s elegant design standards.

While all engines are designed to deliver low fuel consumption without compromising its performance, the A3’s 1.6 Turbocharged Direct Injection engine boasts impressively low CO2 emissions at only 159.33g/mile.

By option, Audi offers the advanced Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, magnetic ride suspension system and the S-tronic gearbox. The body and interior design on both variants has the sporty and elegant characteristics of an Audi. Xenon headlamps are also available along with the latest daytime running lights in LED.

All models have chrome accents on the lower air intakes while the single frame element grille come in shiny black paint finish. Meanwhile, other distinct qualities include a unique spoiler lip, chrome strips on the door handles and tinted tail lamps for the A3. The S3’s taillights on the other hand, have their own distinctive shape.

Audi A3’s interior comes with the optionally available leather sport steering wheel that matches the grey instrument panel. The navigation system may also come with shiny bezels while the air vents have built-in black rings around them.

Aluminium trims are also available for the window switch, mirror switch and the centre console. The information system in manual transmission models now come with a shift indicator. The A3 has up to 1080-litre volume while the Sportback’s trunk capacity can accommodate up to 1100 litres due to its front wheel drive.

Topics: volvo, small car

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