Living stateside, you might think that the Volvo S60 is the smallest car that the Swedish company makes. You would be very wrong. Over in Europe, Volvo sells a car called the V40, a slick-looking little hatchback, but it is strictly not sold in the U.S. For the next 40-series car, Volvo plans to change that. Oh, and they always want to Polestar everything.

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Instead of having me just bombard Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson with hysterical, manic questions about the very nature of what it means to wave a blue-and-yellow flag, he was kind enough to invite los Jalops into the inner sanctum of the Volvo stand at the Detroit Auto Show (lots of wood, and I think I glimpsed some cinnabons).

While there, he just started dropping knowledge. Instead of being all flowery about it, this is everything you need to know:

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  • We’ll be getting the next S40, and probably an SUV version of that as well “before 2019.” Think of something along the lines of the Audi A3/Q3, BMW 1 Series/X1, or whatever the hell Mercedes is calling the CLA and its counterpart SUV these days. GLA? GLC? Whatever, a small Mercedes.
  • Most Volvos, including the XC90 and the new S90, are built on what Volvo calls the SPA platform, which is something that’s exclusive to Volvo, and which will also underpin the successor to the S60 and XC60. The S40, however, will be underpinned by a platform shared with Volvo’s Chinese parent company, Geely. It’ll be built by Volvo, though.
  • I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the wagon variant of the S90, as Wagon Is Life. You’ll see that in Geneva in March, if you haven’t seen it already by just reading Jalopnik.
  • Volvo’s planning on coming out with its first fully-electric car in 2019. It won’t be based on the S40, but on the bigger SPA platform, as “it should be a real Volvo.” The company’s targeting a 310-mile range and is looking into building out a charging infrastructure as well.
  • Volvo wants to Polestar everything. You might have forgotten about Polestar, Volvo’s in-house group of nutters, but I certainly haven’t. The S60 Polestar was one of the best cars I drove in 2015, so Polestarring everything is most definitely a good thing. Officially, Volvo’s “still looking into it,” but Samuelsson said that they want a Polestar as the range-topper on every car, “as that’s why we bought it.” We already knew about a possible S90 Polestar, but hot versions of everything Swedish is great news.
  • As we’ve noted before, Polestars will all likely be hybrid, as Volvo feels like electricity is the best way to get the most bang for your buck these days.
  • “There are no plans yet for a coupe.” Boo.

Volvo’s been saying that it’s back for a while now, but this is what it resurrection looks like in action.


Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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