The 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge coupe SUV previews a new line of coupe-styled, high-riding crossover models – but Volvo assures there’s still life left in the iconic wagon body style.
Speaking to Australian media last week, senior vice president of Volvo design Robin Page hinted that more coupe SUV models similar to the new C40 Recharge – which combines an SUV driving position with a sportier, coupe-like roofline – could play a part in the Swedish car maker’s future plans.
“We saw the C40 as a natural fit for the XC40 because we saw our customers wanting that high eye point, easy ingress [and] egress, nice versatility. It was inspired [by] this first sketch, and it then became an exciting project going in.
“Of course, we can’t talk about our future products, [but] what I would say is the principles of this – accommodating the [SUV body style’s] versatility and high seating point – is something that is going to be important in our future products, because we see that is something our customers really want from Volvo.”
However, despite going nearly all-in on the SUV body style, Page says the industry-wide move to electrification and all-electric ‘skateboard’ platforms means Volvo’s iconic wagon models aren’t dead just yet – as long as customers want them.
“We’re constantly analysing changes in customer expectations and design trends, and what we need to do is create products that are relevant to our customers, but also connect with Volvo the brand."
“We have a portfolio of cars, so of course we can pitch different products for different lifestyles. I think what you will see is … we will adapt [vehicle] proportions to electrification principles. We don’t need that space for the engine anymore, we don’t need a big open grille, so that [design] language will change."
"There is the need I think for customers to have this lower car than the SUV but something that gives you a big versatile space in the back”, Page told media.
Unveiled in March 2021, the C40 Recharge is Volvo’s first model to be offered solely with electric power, and will be joined by a further five electric vehicles by 2025 – rumoured to include new-generation versions of today’s XC90 and XC60 SUVs, and S90 and V90 large cars (not sold in Australia).
It’s all part of the brand’s plan to have all-electric vehicles comprise 50 per cent of Volvo sales by 2025, before switching to electric power only by 2030.
MORE: Everything Volvo