Two long-lived rumors about Volvo products step closer to tangible reality. A new Volvo product to slot in under the XC40 has been rumored for at least 14 years, when Volvo tuner Heico Sportive built an XC30 in 2006 using a C30 hatchback. Come 2011, reports laid out the XC30 as a priority for the Swedish automaker, to ride on the erstwhile C30 hatchback’s architecture and make a play for younger buyers. Every few years another bit of news hinted at a forthcoming small offering, intel from last summer predicting a subcompact electric crossover that could only be leased, not bought. Now, Automotive News credits “dealers familiar with [Volvo’s] product plans” for the scoop that a “coupe-style” C40 crossover is planned for U.S. launch in late 2021, and an XC100 flagship crossover is planned for our market in 2023.
As has always been the case, the C40 will target young buyers as “a price-point leader,” “a lease leader,” and “an affordability vehicle.” AN described the offering as “diminutive,” and a “sporty-looking version of the XC40.” As a battery-electric vehicle, it would pick up styling cues from the XC40 Recharge P8 electric crossover coming later this year, but differ with a sloping roof and new taillights. The carmaker doesn’t expect to sell many, the sales target about half of the more than 17,000 units the XC40 moved in the U.S. last year, but a C40 EV would give buyers another option in the EV segment from an established maker.
Rumors of an XC100 have been around even longer, starting almost as soon as the first XC90 launched in 2002, expectation hitting its stride by 2007, yet 10 years later all we’d seen of it was an animated concept in a short film. Dealers, however, saw something with production intent that has them excited. One dealer told AN the model is an “absolute home run,” another said, “It’s an XC90, Range Rover, Cullinan all in one.” At seven inches longer and five inches wider than the XC90, the XC100 would stand about an inch shorter than a BMW X7 but four inches wider. The interior would offer six-person seating with the second-row captain’s chairs now obligatory in the segment, and a seven-person arrangement as an option. Production is expected to begin in 2023 at the automaker’s South Carolina plant for the standard electrified version, an all-electric version due a year later.