Volvo has unearthed sketches of a boxy SUV from the 1970s, and Lamborghini had a record-breaking 2023.
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Volvo Uncovers Abandoned SUV Project From The 1970s
In the early 1970s, Volvo was given more independence as Volvo Cars was reorganized into a subsidiary, the Volvo Car Corporation. Despite the oil crisis, the Swedish brand had a great decade with record sales and production. Several new models were introduced throughout the decade. By 1979, the automaker was selling over 310,000 units annually.
One model that didn’t materialize into a production vehicle was this boxy SUV. Half a century after being left on the proverbial cutting room floor, Volvo's Heritage division has unearthed sketches of what would've been an all-terrain vehicle primarily for Africa. It wasn't until 2002 the company had a sport utility vehicle of its own but it seems the idea of an all-rounder separate from the traditional line of sedans and wagons was born in the 1970s.
The XC90 was by no means a spiritual successor since the idea behind this unnamed vehicle was to come up with a more rudimentary vehicle at a lower price. Uncovered in the 1970s, the three-door vehicle with its rear-mounted spare was peak Volvo boxiness. It had square wheel arches and short overhangs as penned by design manager Gunnar Falck after CEO Pehr Gyllenhammar asked him to draw up a vehicle for developing countries.
Lamborghini Sold 10,112 Cars In 2023, An All-Time High
Lamborghini established a sales record in 2023 when it shipped more than 10,000 units for the first time ever. Deliveries rose by 10 percent to 10,112 vehicles, with the Urus predictably being the driving force behind the strong demand. No fewer than 6,087 SUVs were sold in the past 12 months when 3,962 people bought a Huracan and 63 took delivery of a V12 supercar.
The biggest single market was the United States with over 3,000 units delivered, followed by Germany with 961 and China with 845. These were followed by United Kingdom (801), Japan (660), the Middle East (496), South Korea (434), Italy (409), Canada (357), Australia (263), France & Monaco (255), Switzerland (211), Taiwan (131), and India (103).
2024 is shaping up to be an important year for Lamborghini considering it will replace the Huracan with a new model. The "baby Lambo" is expected to lose the naturally aspirated V10 in favor of a downsized turbocharged engine part of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Urus is also getting a PHEV variant this year to replace the pure ICE model altogether.
With the rollout of the Aventador-replacing Revuelto, Lamborghini is likely to lure in more affluent buyers into one of its 184 dealerships spread across 54 countries. However, new customers are in for a long wait. The Italian exotic brand says it has enough orders for the electrified V12 flagship to keep busy until late 2026.