Volvo redesigns cars for fuel efficiency, style, safety


"We've been in a product drought. Soon we'll be in a product waterfall," said Tony Nicolosi, CEO of Volvo Cars North America.

The 2014 S60 is Volvo's newest update, but it's just that, an update of a car that's been around for a number of years. Sweden's premier car brand is getting back on its feet after being sold off by Ford, and has big plans for the coming years.

"For the products that we have coming, our new scalable product architecture is going to give us the ability to build beautiful cars, cars that are passionate, cars that people are going to want to buy," said Nicolosi.

The coupe concept, unveiled at last year's Detroit Auto Show, isn't something you'll necessarily be able to buy. But it is a look at what Volvo styling will look like on future products.

"But we're also going to add to those design elements, which you'll see in our future LED headlights that people, when they see it on the road, they see this car coming, they'll know that's a Volvo," said Nicolosi.

The company will unveil more glimpses of the years ahead at the upcoming Detroit show, like a replacement for the XC90 SUV, for example.

In recent years, engine choices from Volvo have been primarily inline five cylinders and inline six cylinders, sometimes with turbo chargers. In the future, all Volvo engines will have turbos, and they'll all be four cylinders.

The future for Volvo, like all car companies, means more emphasis on fuel efficiency.

"We'll deliver power, performance, fuel economy, and also in terms of emissions, they're better for the environment because they won't have as much CO2 emissions," said Nicolosi.

Hybrids will be part of the mix too. And since this is Volvo, safety won't be left out. But a new form of safety for the driver will be emphasized, making operating the car easier and less distracting.

"Functionality's going to be very important for us. Making life simple, less complex, making you want to go in your car, and it will be easy to use," said Nicolosi.

We may not have heard much from Volvo lately, but they're still very much alive. And we're going to be hearing quite a bit from them very soon.

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