After splitting from Ford, adopted by the Chinese, and replacing it’s CEO, what’s next for the Volvo Car Corporation? According to Stephan Jacoby, the company’s newly installed CEO, a four-door hatchback, designed to compete against the likes of Volkswagen’s Golf, is a high priority.
Volvo’s interest in small, entry-level vehicles isn’t that shocking, as reports previously suggested the company was working on a pair of compact offerings. While one model has been confirmed as a small crossover designed to wrestle with BMW’s X1, the other is a little more conventional: a four-door hatchback, likely based upon the C30, the automaker’s existing C-segment hatchback.
For those keeping score, the new model will be Volvo’s first four-door hatchback since the demise of the awkward 440 in 1995. Unlike that model, the new Golf-killer isn’t likely to remain a European exclusive, but it won’t simply be a C30 with two extra doors. Jacoby tells Autocar that the new hatchback will exude “functionality and Scandinavian elegance.” The report suggests the car will sport a front fascia that’s tied to yet another new corporate design identity, although the two-door hatch now wears a nose similar to that of the all-new S60.
To compete against the Golf, the new model will have to be significantly less expensive than the C30′s $25,450 starting price. VW’s four-door Golf retails for nearly 20 percent less, with a starting price of $20,445 for a base five-cylinder, four-door model.
Although Volvo’s S80 sedan and XC90 SUV are scheduled for a complete overhaul, the new high-volume hatchback is apparently a top priority for the company’s design and engineering staffs. Such a vehicle is imperative, as Jacoby has announced he wants the automaker to sell some 800,000 vehicles annually by 2020 — more than double the 335,000 cars it moved in 2009.