A heartfelt, vaguely pornographic love letter to the world’s leading luxury family car manufacturer probably wasn’t top of your “to read” list today, but for me, it is vital to write. Lemme tell you why.
Volvo may have just nailed it again. Just over a year ago, while I was whining about how they’ve lost their edge, their design sensibility and their enthusiasm for all things automotive, (read: Dear Volvo, You’re A Punk Ass Bitch here) Volvo released their game changing SUV, the XC90. It looks phenomenal, drives like a boss and the interior is so dreamy, you half expect Chris Hemsworth to pop out of the center console (Spoiler alert: He doesn’t. Or hasn’t yet…). After the XC90 comes out, we all cheer, write rave reviews and then go back to business as usual. Everyone figures the Swedes are enjoying a warm sauna and cold ski season and we just pray they’ll put another rabbit out of the hat in another decade or so. But just this week, this previously non threatening automaker made some moves that put some serious stakes in the ground. It looks like they’re finally for real… again.
Enter the 40 Series. Volvo revealed these badass beauties last week and although they’re set for release in 2017 & 2018, they may very well be worth the wait. First of all, there’s the electric sedan:
In terms of design, it kinda looks like a Tesla Model S had a baby with a XC90 and in many ways it did. Then, there’s the powertrain. The 40 series sedan is expected to be all electric. It has regenerative braking and a potent lithium ion battery to keep you powered from carpool to commute and back again. But, like the XC90, Volvo has placed the battery vertically to the vehicle’s axle. Why should you care?
Well, in the Model S for example, the battery is flat and wide, spread across the chassis making it a likely casualty in any accident. That could really suck because if your battery is damaged, 1) you’re not going anywhere and 2) Uncle Elon won’t make that sh*t cheap to replace. I know, trust me, I didn’t initially think of that either. But guess who did? Yes, thank you Volvo.
The second half of the 40 series is the small SUV. First of all, let’s just say that what we’re all thinking: ‘It Looks Like The Model X Should’ve.’ Oh shut up, Tesla fans, I know you’re pissed. But we both know I’m right.
But more importantly, Volvo also knows that in my deepest fantasies I really want a fun little crossover SUV that gives me instant torque as well as room for my little rotters and the ability to toss my board on top without having to wrestling falcon wing doors or worry that we’ll all die in a ball of flames. Just the little things…
If Volvo can pull this off, it’ll be a slam dunk. With electrification, great design, solid performance and their 2020 pledge to safety, it will be a hard brand to beat in the next few years. “But they’re Chinese” mumbles the cheap seats. I hear you, but guess what? So was Confucius. He famously said, “Life is very simple, but we insist on making it complicated. So don’t be a douchebag.”