The V40 will sort of die, but sort of not. Let us explain.
Swedish marque Volvo have admitted that their once-popular V40 hatch will not be replaced, at least not directly. The V40 was once something of a sales darling for the Gothenberg brand, though the arrival of tougher, newer competition saw its popularity fade. Volvo is aware of this and, as the current-generation model enjoys its sunset, the company is plotting ways to bring the V40 badge back to glory.
One such move would be to affix that badge onto a new bodystyle, perhaps that of a coupé SUV. This was intimated by Volvo’s European boss Lex Kerssemakers.
“We probably need another boy style in the next two to three years in the 40-Series (of cars). We need to do something more creative, which is why we decided not to replace the V40 [directly].” – Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President (EMEA & Global Commercial Operations), Volvo Cars Group
Another reason why they won’t be replacing the V40 with a new-generation 5-door hatch is because of platform issues – the V40 is the very last Volvo to remain underpinned by a chassis from back when it was owned by Ford, rather than one of their newer modular architectures that have been developed for the 40-, 60, and 90-Series family of cars. And unfortunately, it seems that the new platforms cannot actually accommodate a V40-sized vehicle. We’re guessing it’s too low and too short. And electrification is non-negotiable, as Volvo continues its pledge to electrify its entire lineup by this year.
Further adding fuel to the fire was what Kerssemakers said after he’d revealed the design of the new car was underway and would perhaps be ready in a couple of years:
“We can’t wait too long to introduce the new car. We don’t want to lose our space in the segment. We are still confident that we can cover certain parts of the market, although not the die-hard hatchback fans.” – Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President (EMEA & Global Commercial Operations), Volvo Cars Group
So with that in mind, it makes sense that the V40 will morph into something else. As the XC40’s already covered the SUV space for the Series-40 cars, the only logical move after that would be a coupé-SUV, a segment that’s taken the world by storm and captured the imagination of so many prospective owners since BMW introduced the idea back with the original (and gopping) X6.
But if the V40 does indeed turn into a coupé-SUV, it would then leave most to believe that Volvo will turn into an SUV company, with the majority of its sales coming from its XC models rather than its more traditional saloon & estate bodystyles. But Kerssemakers has reiterated that they will “continue to offer low cars,” out of steadfast belief that there will always “be a market,” he said to Autocar.