Speaking with Automotive News, Volvo CEO Fredrik Arp said there will still be performance oriented models but the cars won’t be carrying the R label. New models in the pipeline include a sports version of the C30 hatch as well as a V8 powered S80 flagship.
The problem was not with the cars themselves, but with the image of Volvo as a performance brand. Both the S60R and V70R featured 300hp turbocharged engines mated to Haldex AWD systems and an electronically controlled chassis with Ohlins shock absorbers. Unfortunately, the bulk of Volvo’s customers are not interested in performance cars and sports enthusiasts aren’t usually inclined to test-drive a Volvo when buying a car.
Volvo sold less than a third of its R-model cars that it had hoped to but remains committed to maintaining a performance range. "We are not giving up the title feature in our products," Arp said, "we are working on the next phase, but it will not be immediate."