Six new Volvo cars coming to India
Volvo Cars posted a growth of 10.5 per cent globally compared to that of the last year with sales of 2.56 lakh cars. The company mentioned in a statement that the double-digit growth in global sales was achieved with an increase in demand from three prime regions. The increase in sales in China was reported to be 6.3 per cent while that in Europe was 10.3 per cent. The most impressive sales growth was registered in the US with an increase of 24.8 per cent.
Volvo India too is on a roll, especially with the way its premium flagship SUV, the XC90, has been received in the country. Launched in May last year, Volvo has sold a total of 550 units of the XC90 till July 2016. The top-end trim Inscription commands a waiting period of three months. Globally, Volvo has sold a total of 84,532 units of the new XC90.
The company is also planning to ramp up its sales and service network in India. Starting with Pune, where a new dealership will be appointed shortly (replacing the previous), Volvo will inaugurate showrooms in Indore, Lucknow and Jaipur. In addition, eight new dealerships will be added to the network thus reaching a total of 20 by the end of this year.
To maintain the positive momentum, Volvo India has planned six launches that are scheduled to happen by the end of this year. Here is a look at all of them:
1) Volvo S90
Estimated price: Rs 50-55 lakh
Built on the Scalable Product Architecture platform, the S90 is a successor of the previous-generation S80. First unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show, the Volvo S90 is the brand's answer to its rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, Jaguar XF and the BMW 5 Series. The exterior shell is completely new, and there is extensive inspiration from the new XC90, seen especially with the new LED headlights paired with Thor's hammer-inspired daytime running lights. The lower and sleeker stance of the S90 makes it look extremely attractive, definitely the best in the segment. The futuristic design lines of the S90 will also be one of the strongest highlights of the luxury sedan. Inside too, the cabin shares heavily with the XC90 SUV with the dominating large touchscreen Sensus infotainment system. Most importantly, the S90 will be powered by the same four-cylinder, 2.0-liter diesel motor as the XC90. This means that the Volvo S90 will be unaffected by the ban on the 2,000cc diesel vehicles giving it an edge over the competition. However, we believe more clarity on the NGT-diesel ban will be helpful for the prospective Volvo customers. We have already driven the India-bound Volvo S90, read about it here.
The Volvo S90 might also debut the radar-based features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, lane-keep assist and collision mitigation braking systems. With the delicensing some radar frequency bands, Volvo India is in talks with the government to use the frequency, 76-77 GHz in particular, to enable its radar-based features. However, there is no clarity given by the government officials to Volvo on the type of approval that would be given. It is still not clear if the feature can be activated at the dealership level or will be offered as an OEM feature. Customers can pay a booking amount ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, depending on the dealer.
2) Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence plug-in hybrid
Estimated price: Rs 1.2-1.3 crore
The Volvo XC90 is one of the first products based on the Scalable Product Architecture platform. With an all-new design, a cabin that boasts of the finest equipment and a 2.0-litre diesel engine that combines performance with efficiency, the XC90 checks all the right boxes. Adding one more variant, Volvo will launch the T8 plug-in hybrid in India. Powered by a direct-injection 2.0-litre supercharged petrol and an electric motor running on lithium-ion battery, the combined output is an impressive 407PS and 640Nm available from 2,200-5,400rpm. Such figures from a mere 2.0-litre is truly commendable. The company claims that the electric motor offers a range of 32km. The XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid can reach a max speed of 230 kmph and can do a 0-100kmph sprint in 5.6 seconds, which also makes it the fastest among other engine options. The T8 hybrid will have the smallest carbon footprint compared to the other variants with a CO2 g/km output of 49. The XC90 plug-in hybrid will not stand to gain from the FAME initiative incentives, something which only locally manufactured cars like the e2o, Ciaz and Ertiga SHVS enjoy.
Volvo India will launch the T8 hybrid in the Excellence trim with a feature list that includes Bower and Wilkins music system, Nappa leather seats with electric adjustment and memory functions. It will be offered in a four-seater configuration which gets additional legroom compared to that of the standard variant.
3) Volvo V40 facelift
Estimated price: Rs 28-32 lakh
Bookings: Not yet started
Sitting at the starting of the Volvo range, the V40 will soon be getting a cosmetic update. The main change that the exterior gets is the completely reworked front profile with a new grille mesh design. It also gets the 'Thor' hammer-shaped LED headlights that are also featured on the S90, V90 and XC90 models. The updated V40 models will be available in five colors, including the various blues, Amazon, denim, bursting and mussel. Oh, there's also a luminous sand hue. They will offer buyers the choice of eight alloys among all trims in international markets. On the inside, a new design upholstery has been added along with more steering wheel wrap options. Additionally, prospective buyers will also be offered the option of interior panel trims, including black grid and stealth aluminium.
The feature list in the new Volvo V40 includes the Volvo On Call smartphone app which allows remote control of in-car features. With an update, it is now compatible with Windows 10-based smartphones in addition to Apple Watch and Android Wear (an industry first).
Since it is more of an aesthetic update, Volvo might retain the powertrain options seen on the existing V40 hatchback. It will be powered by a 2.0-litre diesel motor that produces 150PS of power and 350Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The main rivals for the V40 hatchback include the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class in India.
4) Volvo V40 Cross Country facelift
Estimated price: Rs 34 lakh
Bookings: Not yet started
The V40 Cross Country is a rugged variant of the V40 hatchback which went into production in 2012. The V40 Cross Country shares the design, features and even the powertrain options with its sibling the V40, but with the distinct styling of an all-roader. Similar to the update of the new V40 hatchback, the Cross Country too gets a new face with LED headlights and Thor's hammer-inspired daytime running lamps. Inside, the cabin will have an identical layout and features list as the V40 hatchback, except for the subtle Cross Country badging.
Expected price: Rs 65-67 lakh
Bookings: Not started yet
Volvo will be bringing its performance-based brand Polestar in India. The Volvo S60 Polestar will be powered by a 1,969cc, four-cylinder engine with turbo and supercharger. This motor makes 367PS and 470Nm. Volvo claims that the S60 Polestar can accelerate from 0-100kmph in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 250kmph (electronically restricted). The engine modifications to the Polestar editions include a bigger turbocharger along with a supercharger, new conrods and camshafts along with a bigger air intake, and a higher capacity fuel pump.
Additionally, it gets a BorgWarner sourced four-wheel drive system while the 8-speed automatic gearbox has also been updated by Polestar. In terms of features, both trims get 20-inch alloys, enhanced electronic power steering and new larger 371mm brake discs for improved braking capabilities. Globally, Volvo has already announced that it will take the Polestar to more markets, increasing its presence to 47 from the current 13. Volvo will also double the annual production to 1,500 cars from the current 750 units.
We believe with the arrival of the Volvo Polestar in India, it will help the brand's image. Also, with the increase in sales of performance brands such as Audi's Quattro, BMW's M and Mercedes-AMG, we expect Polestar to play a strong role in the overall sales of Volvo India, thereby raising the aspirational value of the brand in the country.
6) Volvo XC90 R-Design
Estimated price: Rs 85 lakh
Bookings: Not started yet
The Volvo XC90 R-Design will be positioned above the Momentum variant and will be in lines of the Inscription variant. The price difference between the Inscription and the R-Design will be in the range of Rs 1-2 lakh. The Volvo XC90 R-Design gets a distinct grille, larger scoops on the front bumper, 22-inch R-Design alloy wheels, integrated dual tail pipes as well as bright roof rails. Inside, the XC90 R-Design will get sports seats with leather-wrapped steering wheel with R-Design details on the gearshift knob, pedals, floor mats and illuminated scuff plates. In addition, it comes with a special R-Design leather key remote control.
The Sensus-equipped large touchscreen in the centre will seen in the XC90 R-Design as well but it will feature a R-Design theme. The engine options will be similar to the regular XC90.
While the existing variants of the XC90 focus more on comfort and features, we believe the XC90 R-Design will target those looking for a sporty, aggressive looking version of the premium SUV.
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