Lofty ambition as Volvo touts classy Country
THE gaggle of SUVs in the compact prestige market will grow again when Volvo puts its new V40 on stilts later this year.
The V40 Cross Country will join the company’s range of passenger-based SUVs in Australia but is unlikely to carry on the sharp pricing policy of its frontdrive cousin.
Volvo Cars Australia boss Matt Braid says extra hardware for the SUV range — including all-wheel drive components — would warrant a price premium.
‘‘The Cross Country version of this . . . we’re looking at the third quarter of this year, but we haven’t set a date yet,’’ he said.
‘‘At this stage it’s too early to confirm pricing. I don’t think we’ll be able to price it as sharply as we can the V40, but that category is developing as well so it’s a bit of an unknown.’’
The Cross Country model is expected to get a Haldex on-demand all-wheel drive system (similar to its XC60 sibling), hill descent control and rides 40mm higher than the recently-released V40, wearing body add-ons to distinguish its more adventurous tendencies.
Engines slated for the Cross Country include the 2-litre and 2.5-litre T5 petrol automatics and the 1.6 and 2-litre turbodiesels seen here in the new V40.
The SUV variants in the Volvo line-up reflect the growing domination of that vehicle type in the Australian market — the XC60 topped the sales tally for the Chinese-owned Swedish brand with 2179 sales. Meanwhile the XC90 placed second with 1342 sales.
Mr Braid said the new XC90 was much anticipated, even though the current model was still performing well in the sales race.
‘‘We’ve looking forward to the new version of that — the current one is selling very well.’’
‘‘The new XC90 has not been confirmed but we expect it in early 2015.’’
The company beancounters are relying on the new V40 racking up between 800 and 1000 in its first full year on sale to offset the shortfall left when the C30, S40 and V50 models dwindle during 2013.
Mr Braid says the brand has set a target in the vicinity of 6000 units.
‘‘There’s opportunity in S60 and V40, so we’ll ride with the opportunities as they present themselves but 6000 is what we’d like to achieve,’’ he said.
The Volvo V40 Cross Country will come with a host of impressive features