Friday, November 02, 2007

5-door Volvo hatchback

The CGI below previews how a new 5-door C30-derived Volvo could look like. It looks like a V50, so expect the final version to be a bit different from this image. The good people at Volvo must be very happy with their S40-V50-C30 line. These cars are successfull in different markets and bring a nice profit. Remember, these are essentially modified versions of the Ford Focus platform, adequately packaged with smoother looks, improved perceived quality and more high-scale marketing investment and targets. The usual strategy of Audi that manages to make a lot of profit from "Seats in disguise". We wonder why people don't choose the offers from Mercedes or BMW that are real luxury cars, not just mainstream-derived premium, and don't cost that much more... Anyway, who cares, it works for Volvo and Audi.
The new 5-door hatch should use the same engines as in the current Focus platform as well as any new offer, like DSG gearbox smaller turbo engines, etc. We would like to see a plug-in hybrid like a recent C30 concept from Volvo but such version is not in the program, at least not now.


Davor said...

While I generally agree about your snarky comments on Volvo using Fords platforms, the same can't in all fairness be said of Audi. It was true in the past that an Audi essentially meant a sleeker and more expensive version of VW car in the segment, this is hardly the truth today. Only the A3 and Q7 are based on VW platforms, AFAIK. And the MLP for A4/A5 turned out very well, approaching for the first time the handling of BMW/MB cars.

David said...

Davor, I agree with your comment although the more expensive Volvos also use different platform and underpinnings from Ford. Still, besides A3 platform, several more expensive Audi models use 4-cylinder engines shared with Seat and Skoda (and VW), particularly in Europe.

Davor said...

Oh, I see where you're coming from. I must say, though, I don't have a problem with this since you can always opt for a better engine, one exclusive to Audi. The entry level engines are there for people who want the cachet of a luxury vehicle, but can't really afford "the whole experience". I've a much greater issue with platform sharing between premium vehicles and their non premium corporate partners. You can't change platforms in a model range as you can engines. Therefore if I want a car in the premium compact segment, I have to settle for a beautifully designed and expensive Golf (A3) or a somewhat ugly but at least a proper standalone premium platform car (BMW 1 series)... I wouldn't have a problem if 1er offered engines from MINI for a lower price, as long as they continued to offer, for example, 123d.
So with the risk of this turning into a longish rant, all I wanted to say was that you can't really throw Volvo and Audi into the same bin. With the exception of A3 & Q7, they have original and compelling platforms and designs. As a BMW 3 series owner, I must say I am, for the first time, considering an Audi as my next car. Having driven the S5, I can tell you I missed little to nothing from my 3er. I couldn't make this claim for the S40.