Cool Audi RS wagons. A Citroën Cactus. Honda S660s. What do these cars all have in common? They are far too good for us heathens in the U.S. of A and are not sold here until they are 25 years old. Soon to join them as another item we can’t have is a particular variant of the Volvo XC40 compact crossover.
Volvo announced yesterday that it would introduce an all-new 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, direct-injected gasoline engine. It was designed so that it could be integrated into Volvo’s hybrid system later on, but here’s the kicker: It’s also coming with a manual six-speed transmission.
A three-cylinder XC40 with a manual six-speed! (The eight-speed auto is coming next year.)
There’s no way we’re getting this thing, I said to myself. There would be no point; no Americans would buy it. I tried to rationalize it to myself, fearing it’d be in danger of being some dull European econobox.
But then I reminded myself that the base-model Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper both also come with manuals and three-cylinder engines and they’re fun to drive. So maybe this Volvo will be, too.
Alas, all of this was for naught. I wrote a Volvo spokesperson for clarification, and my dreams were dashed with a simple reply to my email: “No that one won’t be coming stateside.”