Posted Feb 1st 2015 2:00PM
Back in August we had a chance to sit down with Volvo Senior VP Lex Kerssemakers at the unveiling of the new XC90, when he told us all about the company's plans to completely revitalize its lineup within the next four years. Cross Country models, he assured us when asked, would be a big part of that. Given how that sub-brand had played out until then, we assumed at the time that would mean more jacked-up soft-road wagons, but with the reveal of the S60 Cross Country, Gothenburg showed its preparedness to leave that assumption on the dusty road behind it. Now the latest reports confirm that there will be more to come.
Speaking with Autocar, Kerssemakers – who was just appointed to the additional role of overseeing the Americas – confirmed that more Cross Country models will follow. The thing is that there aren't that many models left in the company's lineup that have yet to receive the treatment. Just one, really.
The company currently produces the V40, S60, V60, S80, V70 (and XC70), XC60 and XC90. The XC crossovers are ready for rough roads (unless even more rugged versions are planned) and the V40, S60, V60 and V70 have already undergone the Cross Country conversion.
That leaves just the S80, a model which – in its current iteration – has been on the market for the better part of a decade. Given what it's done with the S60 and V60, Volvo could still conceivably give the S80 the same off-road treatment it did long ago with the V70/XC70. But the likelier situation would see it designing a Cross Country version into the new S90 that's set to replace it soon. And therein lies the open door to the additional Cross Country models Kerssemakers is hinting at.
With each one of its models set to be replaced over the course of the next four years, and additional models to join the family, there's nothing to stop Volvo from jacking up the suspensions and beefing up the lower bodywork on every model it makes, moving forward. That could include the next generation of V40, S60, V60, but also the new S40 and S90 sedans and the new V90 set to finally replace the V70 wagon.
Along with the XC60, new XC90 and upcoming XC40, those will form the backbone of Volvo's forthcoming lineup, and each one can be expected to get the Cross Country treatment. More intriguing, however, is the prospect of a Cross Country coupe or shooting brake – something Volvo hinted at with the XC Coupe concept last year. The Swedish automaker has said that two- and three-door models are not among its top priorities as it works to replace its core four- and five-door models over the coming years, but that's not to say it couldn't reconsider a few years down the line. And part of us hopes it does.