Tech

Miss the C30? Volvo will return to the hatchback market in 2017 with a new V40

Americans have been clamoring for the Volvo V40 ever since the Golf-sized hatchback was introduced in Europe in 2012. Volvo has carefully listened, and one of the company's top executives has revealed the second-gen V40 will be designed with the United States market in mind.

While the V40 won't become Volvo's best seller in the United States, the company predicts that selling the Euro-centric hatchback on our shores will allow it to benefit from economies of scale. Executives explain Volvo is too small to develop region-specific models, and so every upcoming addition to its lineup will have a global appeal.

That said, Volvo hasn't ruled out designing country- or region-specific offshoots of existing models, like the long-wheelbase S80 that is exclusively built and sold in China.

The V40 will likely spawn a compact crossover called XC40 that will slot below the XC60 and a four-door sedan. Surprisingly, Volvo is open to the idea of building a long-wheelbase version of the V40, though whether we'll see it in the United States is anyone's guess.

"If there is a need for a V40 with extended wheelbase we will do that," affirmed Alain Visser, Volvo's marketing chief, in an interview with Dutch publication De Telegraaf.

Built on a new modular platform developed jointly with Chinese parent company Geely, the V40 will launch will a gasoline-burning four-cylinder engine, and it will be joined by a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid model a little later in the production run. Rumors have it that Volvo will give the Mercedes-AMG A45 and the Volkswagen Golf R a run for their money with a hot-rodded version of the V40 built by in-house tuner Polestar, but the Swedish car maker has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

Volvo fans looking to put a V40 in their garage will need to be patient, as the new model isn't expected to arrive until 2017 at the earliest. For the time being, Volvo is not planning on selling the current version of the V40 (pictured) in the United States.