It looks like Geely boss Li Shufu isn't the type of person that gives up too easily. Even though Volvo CEOs Stefan Jacoby and Hakan Samuelsson have opposed the idea of a Volvo flagship sedan on grounds that such a car would not fit the brand's “green” image, the big boss from China (you probably remember that Volvo is owned by Geely), recently told Chinese media that the Swedish company will develop a flagship sedan to compete with Audi A8, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Expected to be called S100, the luxury sedan will be based on a stretched variant of the platform of the next generation Volvo S80. Shufu said the Volvo S100 will be larger and more luxurious than the new S80 and in another league than the current long-wheelbase S80 L, which is made in China. The S100 will also be built in China, in the new Volvo factory in Chengdu, but it remains to be seen whether it will be exported to other markets as well.
Li Shufu didn’t mention anything about engines, and this is where Volvo may have a problem, as the automaker has recently announced that it will focus on four-cylinder engines in the future and gradually drop its 5- and 6-cylinder units. A flagship sedan only available with 4-cylinder engines would have trouble convincing customers in a segment where image is very important. Volvo has already ditched the Yamaha-sourced V8 engine that was offered on the XC90 and S80.
By Dan Mihalascu