Volvo’s going to stop making the V40 sometime this summer, and with it, they’ll be done making a conventional hatchback, perhaps forever. This is sad not just because we’re losing yet another small car. It’s sad because the market is demanding it. What are they demanding, exactly? Fuckin’ SUVs.
Per Automotive News, the V40's replacement will be lifted a few inches higher than the current iteration. This is to reflect current consumer choice, but also for a practical reason: to accommodate batteries, as Volvo also plans an all-electric version of the as-yet unnamed car.
The V40’s replacement will be higher-riding because increasing numbers of buyers are switching to SUV-styled cars, said Volvo’s Europe head, Lex Kerssemakers.
The extra height also will help to accommodate batteries needed to create a full- electric version, he told reporters at an event here.
“There are two trends in society that we have to include. First is that people want to sit high and second is that if you launch a car, it needs to facilitate an electric variant,” Kerssemakers said.
A low-seat compact car would not offer enough space to accommodate a big enough battery to give the required 300 km (186 miles) range, he said.
The V40, of course, didn’t come to the U.S. because we’re trash humans who don’t deserve nice things, but we’re hoping its replacement does. Volvo is using its smallest cars to test out electric waters, a move which would make a lot of sense, since it’s likely that electric cars will be most useful in urban environments, as 186 miles of range isn’t going to get you very far.
It also makes sense because small cars require less power to move, and thus batteries go further than they would in, say, an electrified XC90. I can almost also convince myself that American buyers might be into a small crossover-ish Volvo, or at least enough to convince Volvo to bring it over.
It will never fully replace the V40 though. The V40 is dead. Long live the V40.