Volvo has confirmed it will unveil its second electric vehicle (EV) on 2 March 2021, as reported by industry publication Automotive News.
While few details of the upcoming EV have been released by the Swedish brand, it has confirmed the model will ride on the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) as the brand's first EV, the Volvo XC40 Recharge small SUV, and the Polestar 2 electric sedan, marketed under Volvo's spin-off performance brand.
As the XC40 is the only Volvo model underpinned by the CMA platform – and it already offers an all-electric variant – the new 2021 EV is certain to be an all-new offering within the brand's range which, according to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson in an interview with Automotive News Europe, will feature a "more streamlined body" than the XC40 Recharge.
"We will keep you a bit in the dark until we show the car, but I promise you it will be a very good-looking car," he continued.
It would be logical to suggest the new model would be a successor to the now-discontinued V40 hatchback, however Volvo has confirmed that won't be the case as, according to Samuelsson, the lower-cost small car segment would not be profitable for the Swedish carmaker: "For Volvo to be profitable we need to focus on higher price, more premium car segments".
Given opting for a sedan body style would likely cannibalise Polestar 2 sales, it's likely the second Volvo EV will take the shape of a coupe SUV, potentially based on the XC40's styling and badged 'XC50'.
It's possible the upcoming model could be the C40 compact SUV, rumoured earlier this year to be a smaller, all-electric version of the XC40, with sportier styling and a lower entry price aimed at younger millennial buyers.
However, the introduction of the C40 would appear to contradict Samuelsson's statement regarding Volvo's reluctance to enter low-cost segments, given a sub-XC40 SUV would likely fall into the 'light SUV' segment in Australia, with a lower, circa-$40,000 price tag to match.
While specific details of the upcoming Volvo EV's motor and batteries have yet to be announced, the related, CMA-based XC40 Recharge currently offers a single powertrain option: a 78kWh lithium-ion battery mated to two electric motors, sending 300kW of power and 660Nm of torque to all four wheels.
Should the new model carry the XC40's driveline over unchanged, expect it to better its larger sibling's 4.9-second 0-100km/h sprint time and 418km WLTP range.
The unnamed EV will be the second model in Volvo's ambitious electric vehicle rollout plan, which will see one all-electric vehicle unveiled each year between 2019 and 2025 – a target commenced in 2019 with the aforementioned XC40 Recharge, but missed in 2020, likely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A front-wheel-drive, single-motor 150kW version of the XC40 Recharge is expected to be one of those models, alongside zero-emissions versions of the next-generation large XC90 SUV, S90 sedan and V90 wagon, due in the coming years.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for the second Volvo electric vehicle's full debut on March 2, 2021.