I've heard that the next-gen S40 sedan and V50 wagon will be based on a highly-modified Focus platform. Do you guys have any details or spy pics yet? This could be one awesome set of new cars once they are released.
I don't believe, that Volvo has not decided yet, wether to use the Focus or the Mondeo platform.
As far as I know, the engineers already started with their work, and the decision of the platform has to be made very early.
You're right on the sizing thing. The Mondeo is awfully close in size to the S60, which would make a difference tightly seen. Although, it's tough to sell an S40, now priced in the mid 20's alongside a $12K Focus. I like the Focus platform, and I've seen crafty platform use before (ex. Audi TT and Skoda Octavia), but Ford will have to exhibit much better differentiation than they manage to do now between their domestic brands. Although, the Jag X-type has me very hopedul. That thing looks great.
Interestingly, I think Ford wants to go awd in that Focus platform. I wonder if they'll use the Haldex system also used on the PCC?
I based my info on info from CAR magazine. Those guys are very in the loop, and that was the stand they took that it could go either way.
I think you may be right though that the S40 will probably go Focus.
Reading about the Ford influence on the S40 line is causing me some concern.
I'm interested in purchasing an S40.
Even though the S60 is only a few thousand more it's just out of my range right now.
I see here that the next generation S40 will probably [note probably] be built on a Ford Focus platform to compete with Focus/Jetta/etc.
My concern is this. These cars sell for significantly less than the Volvo. I'm afraid that the Volvo's S40 price will come down to be more competitive [devaluing any S40s purchased before the price reduction]. Also a lot of sites (edmunds) are currently competing the S40 with the A4, BMW 3 [which is now S60s competition]. If the company changes the focus of its competition to Focus/Jetta, the "status" I was going for with a Volvo S40 will dwindle.
In light of this, i'm thinking of delaying my purchase and saving my pennies for a S60, BMW 3, or maybe the new Jag [depending on price] (The Audi A4s look too much like a Passat [cheaper], so they're not an option for me). At least this way i'm not in as much danger of paying mid-twenties for a car that might be considered mid-low range in the next few years.
I don't think the S40 would go down in price that much. There is a similar situation with the new Mondeo/Jaguar X-Type. They are priced quite differently, and I think the same will hold true for the next Focus/S40.
From what I've read, primarily in CAR, the 40/50 should be only "loosely" based on the Focus platform. Volvo will no doubt want to downplay the fact that these cars might be based on a platform shared with cars costing over $10k less, but then again, after all is said and done, I don't see the Focus and the S40 being competitors at all. Let's just hope that these new cars retain that Volvo flavor, and are more Volvo-esque than the current MitsuVolvo 40-series.
Also, it's been rumored that Ford would like to base the next Taurus on the S60/V70/S80 platform. If they can get costs in line, they just might do it.
It sounds like you don't like associations with lesser cars. If that's your biggest concern, buy the BMW or the Mercedes.
I personally like the S60, the A4 and the Passat the best. That's just my humble opinion of course.
The S60 has come almost down in size from the S70, albeit not by much. If Volvo puts the S40 on the Mondeo, they'll be pretty darn close in size. I think the S60 is almost more a competitive piece for the 3-series, A4 and C-class than the S40 is. The S40's price is more in line with higher end Jettas and A4 1.8T models.
From what I've read, I believe that the fact that the S40 and V40 are not 100% pure Volvo has been a concern to a lot of potential customers.
Just because this car was born out of a partnership doesn't automatically discount its potential as a Volvo to me, and I feel the same about the future Ford-bred Volvo products. As I recall, there was a significant delay in introducing the 40 series cars to the US because of quality problems with the Nedcar plant in Holland. I've also read in many reviews that this car lacks that Volvo feel of the other "pure" Volvos (I've never driven a FWD Volvo, so I can't make a judgment on this with my own experience).
I just feel that it would be in Volvo's (and ultimately, FoMoCo's) best interest to be certain that future products all have a sense of commonality. As far as I know, Jaguar has been successful in this realm, under Ford's leadership. It is important not to dilute the brand's image too much with the sharing of components. This, in my opinion, should be primarily hidden beneath the skin. Ford should know how to do this by now, and regardless of whether the car has Focus or Mondeo genes, it should result in a better product than the current 40 series.
Forgetting that the Foci are nice rides and the Mondeo is one of the Best. The s40 would be a simple choice if the performance versions were sold in the U.S. and I am sure if the 40 series targets the Jetta as a competitor chances are youd get a very good sporty version, I would also think it to be a natural competitor to the Mercedes new hatch and the upcoming BMW 2 series.
Honestly, I hope they can hold the prices / lower them when the new S40 comes out. The current base S40 is priced right at the Jetta 1.8t model with all the goodies. I couldn't make the leap for an S40 because at the end of the day, it was just too much. I think the current S40 has to drop about 10% in price for it to be a competetive force in sales. (at least where I live, where 40 series cars are rarer than Porsches)
Driving to work this morning I pulled up at a stop light beside a 2000 Honda Civic EX sedan and a 2000 Volvo S40, nose to tail. Both silver-gray; almost identically sized and proportioned. Both looked like quality rides. The Honda a little bigger in the haunches, a little bigger trunk lid; the Volvo a little more athletic-looking. The hard part was the realization that the Honda could be had for about $14,000 while the S40 could easily run up over $25,000. No rational person, scoping those two cars side by side in the rain, would see a full $13,000 worth of extra value in the Volvo. And I love Volvos.
The S40 cannot be compared to a Civic! I agree that some of the 27K is in the name, but the same goes for the Audis and BMWs. For an extra 13K, you get a turbro, disc brakes, independent suspension, AC, auto tranny, leather, sunroof, airbags, a better-looking car, plus the Volvo name.
If the S40 takes the Focus platform, it'll be an awesome car, and cheaper as well. My commuter is a Focus, and its handling is much better than my gf's S40, not to mention the stiffer chassis. The only thing the Focus lacks is power, which the future S40 will definitely make up for. Now, if they only add all-wheel drive...
Over on Volvospy they've posted some new 'artist conceptions' of the new cars. The V50 looks like a small V70 from the back in my opinion.
Adding my two cents in about the Focus and cheaper car. If Ford does a good job then sharing platforms isn't a bad thing. VW shares platforms all the time. The TT, Beattle, Jetta, GTI and Golf are the same platform. The Passat, A4 & A6 share one too.
On the other hand GM shared the J body across their brands - remember the Cadillac Cimeron??? (cringe) I'll be really interested in seeing what Volvo does with the Focus chassis.
I'm not too worried about resale value for my V40 (soon to be coming), the new car will be the labelled the V50 and I don't see a flood of them coming onto the market.
The other complaint I'm noticing in this thread is the fact that the current generation is not 100% Volvo. No car is 100% anything - the M class Mercedes use AC Delco parts (ugh), most interiors are made by Lear or Magna. The reality is that the 'manufacturers' only do the final assembly, most (not all) of the design and the marketing of the vehicle. The days of blast furnace to assembly line operation like Ford's old Rouge River plant are long gone.