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Wee Volvo 20-Series Models Are Coming, and Perhaps to the U.S. …

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country

In a conversation about product nomenclature and how expensive sneakers jibe with Volvo’s model offerings (more on that later), the Swedish company’s U.S. president, Lex Kerssemakers, seemingly let slip that a smaller, 20-series model is on the way.

“It’s pretty straightforward: The 90 is the biggest, and the 40 is the smallest,” Kerssemakers said. “And when there is a 20, it will be a smaller one.” If we read his statement correctly, this marks the first time that Volvo has confirmed a 20-series model.

While we didn’t press Kerssemakers for deep details, he noted of the broader Volvo lineup that the company “only makes global cars, so [they] should apply to all parts of the world.” That would indicate that the 20-series, in some form, will come to the United States to join the upcoming compact XC40 SUV. We’d bet against a V20 wagon, at least at the lineup’s inception, though. “I said 10 years ago that the wagons are back,” admitted Kerssemakers, who identifies as a wagon guy. So far, he said, “I’ve been proven wrong.”

It’s also unlikely that the 20-series would mark the return of impractical cars to the Volvo fold. “Coupes and convertibles—we don’t have them in the plan,” he shared, “because we are focusing on the bread-and-butter [vehicles] for the moment.” At the recent launch of the V90 Cross Country, another company executive hinted that a sports car is in the works, however.

Most likely, the 20-series family will at least spawn an XC20 to go up against the smallest utility vehicles and city cars from Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and others, and perhaps an S20 small sedan. As Volvo continues its push toward small engines and electrification, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the 20-series to offer a plug-in-hybrid powertrain featuring a three-cylinder gas engine, while another 20-series variant could be an electric vehicle. Volvo is also said to be working on an EV that is set to launch in 2019.

Kerssemakers noted that there is a market for premium but more playful small cars that Volvo has not yet leveraged, in a similar way that the high-dollar sneaker market has recently exploded. Luxury or having “money does not equal traditional design or inside the box” thinking, he said, and some new Volvo models eventually will be “a little more creative, more [extroverted].”

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/wee-volvo-20-series-models-are-coming-and-perhaps-to-the-u-s/

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