Watch out Volkswagen, Volvo is teeing up its Golf rival. The Swedish firm is set to launch a practical, five-door version of its C30 hatch. But creating the newcomer doesn’t merely involve grafting on an extra set of doors.
To compete with the best in the class, such as the Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, the C30 will be given a complete design makeover. Its look will usher in a more distinctive Volvo styling language, which new chief executive Stefan Jacoby is keen to implement.
He is concerned that the marque’s DNA has become diluted by pursuing its German rivals too intently. Instead, the firm’s new cars will have a renewed emphasis on Scandinavian design, which means keeping things simple and elegant on the outside, while interiors remain minimalist but with more interesting choices of materials. Technology inspired by Apple’s latest products is likely to make its debut in the new car, too.
Jacoby believes the XC60 is the model that’s closest to what Volvo should be doing, so expect the new five-door to be heavily influenced by the look of the SUV, with a distinctive nose, sculpted flanks and L-shaped tail-lights.
The model, due in 2012, will also require an overhaul inside. While the current three-door C30 looks the part, its rear seats are very cramped. The new car’s passenger and luggage space will rival that of the class leaders.
The five-door project has been promoted to the top of Volvo’s priority list, forcing the brand to put development of a replacement for the XC90 SUV on hold. It’s hoped that the new car will re-establish Volvo as a more significant player in Europe, as hatchbacks are still not big sellers in the US.
The firm will also seek to use its new Chinese owner Geely to its advantage, rapidly expanding its presence in that market and building a new factory there. Volvo is also putting the finishing touches to its US strategy, with the ultimate goal of increasing sales from the current 335,000 per year to 800,000 in a decade’s time. For more details click here. Thanks to: Auto Express