Despite Volvo's attempt to aim for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, CEO Hakan Samuelsson says that the brand will not introduce a full-size flagship. The executive maintains that there are no plans and no desire within the company to go any larger than the S80 and what can be supported by its new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) platform.
Speaking with Automotive News this past weekend at the Shanghai auto show, Samuelsson said "We don't have any ambitions to go into a segment where we would compete with vehicles that have V-8 or V-12 engines. We don't believe it would fit our brand image."
Despite previously showing high-end concepts like the Concept You (pictured), Samuelsson's statement is in line with what Volvo has said recently – namely that the SPA platform has been optimized to exclusively use four-cylinder engines only. The first – and most likely largest – vehicle to be built on the SPA platform will be the 2015 XC90, which is due to be revealed next year. Unlike the first-generation model that offered five-, six-, and eight-cylinder powerplants over its lifetime, expect the new XC90 to use only four-bangers thanks to its SPA roots.
It's also expected that the next-generation Volvo S80 will be built on the SPA platform and may spawn a new V80 range-topping wagon, but for the time being the XC90 will sit atop Volvo's model hierarchy.
As Volvo Cars North America President and CEO John Maloney told us earlier this year, Volvo would not be "a Swedish German brand" and that it would do premium luxury "on its own terms. Volvo will continue to emphasize safety and longevity. … It will differentiate [from other brands] through design, versatility, and ease of use."
Do you think that without a flagship model, Volvo will be able to compete with the German luxury brands, or will it remain relegated to a second-tier-luxury status? Let us know in the comment section.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)