Could Volvo’s New DNA Save It From Extinction?
Volvo pulled the wrap off its new cars that showcase its hottest and newest car DNA. The remarkable car styling mirrors Volvo’s new design direction. The automaker is delivering these vehicles to the automotive world with the hope that the company’s standing and sales would be improved significantly.
One remarkable car from Volvo is the XC60 concept, which was revealed at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It is scheduled to go on sale for the 2009 model year. Fresh styling DNA is mirrored on its aggressively styled grille, larger Volvo symbol, new shifting mechanism, mechanical tail gate, glass roof and 20-inch rims. The concept shares the C1 platform with its Ford siblings that include the next-generation Land Rover Freelander.
Steve Mattin, Volvo's styling under new design director, said that the Volvo XC60 concept "will indicate our new design DNA. It will have technical as well as design innovation. But it's a real concept car, not just a disguised production car." In other words, its relationship to the real thing will be as the 2000 ACC concept was to the Volvo XC90. "It takes the emotion of the C30 a step further."
“If you can recognize a Volvo from 50 meters today, I want to get to the point where people will be able to spot one from twice the distance in the future,” added Mattin. "We need to be recognizable as Volvo. We're still about Scandinavian simplicity; we can't be playful or do styling for the sake of styling. Volvos last a long time, so our design must have legs. But we can't be too simple or we'd edge toward blandness. And we can't just change; we must be fresh. I want to broaden our design and have more variation between car lines."
Another remarkable car from the automaker is the Volvo C30, a small family car, which comes as a three-door, four-seat hatchback version of the Volvo S40, V50 and C70 luxury vehicles. The car is powered by I4 and I5 engines. The production Volvo C30 was officially unveiled at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. "The new C30 is an ambitious new car for Volvo," said Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. "It is a car that aims for a group of young singles, or couples, with intense urban lifestyles. These people prioritize excitement in design and driving characteristics, and this car should suit their varied tastes perfectly."
“Our V8 package feels immensely solid. When it comes to power and performance, we’re in the same class as the very best in the segment. What’s more, we’re sure that a large proportion of these customers will appreciate the fact that the power and driveability can be combined with high safety and good environmental properties. It’s important that we can launch a V8 without compromising on our core values,” said Hans-Olov Olsson, Volvo Cars President and CEO.
The new hatchback is given an upgraded sound system that includes a digital 5×130 watt ICE Power amplifier from Alpine featuring Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, and 10 loudspeakers from Danish Dynaudio. In addition, the Volvo C30 also caters to personal choices of the customers especially to the demanding needs of young urbanites. "The Volvo C30 is a very exciting car with emotional appeal. We anticipate that the C30's youthfulness and dynamic design will catch the hearts and minds of people beyond Volvo's traditional customers," said Anne Blec, President and CEO of VCNA.
"The new Volvo C30 plays an important role in our push towards a volume of 600,000 cars a year. We are broadening our model program to make it possible for new, younger customers with an intense, urban lifestyle to choose a Volvo with the right appeal as early as possible," Arp noted. The automaker intends to sell 65,000 units of these cars every year. Seventy-five per cent of those sales are expected to come from Europe market.
Another equally stunning car from the automaker is Volvo S80. It blends distinct Scandinavian style, excellent ride and handling characteristics to make way for a more dynamic Volvo. The engine choices include the all-new 315hp V8 with AWD and 3.2L naturally aspirated inline-six-cylinder with 238 horsepower, available with AWD. Volvo pressure plates are also upgraded to withstand the powerful change. “We are convinced that the all new Volvo S80 will be a very strong contender in its class and win over many new customers considering the other popular premium brand rivals. We expect to sell 50,000 new S80s a year around the world, of which 70 per cent will be new Volvo customers,” said Frederik Arp, Volvo Cars CEO.
Mattin commented on Volvo’s future design philosophy, "We need to be recognizable as Volvo. We're still about Scandinavian simplicity; we can't be playful or do styling for the sake of styling. Volvos last a long time, so our design must have legs. But we can't be too simple or we'd edge toward blandness. And we can't just change; we must be fresh. I want to broaden our design and have more variation between car lines."
These cars are delivered with high hopes and the automaker is positive that they will definitely make a big change.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.