The XC40 will take Volvo into a booming segment it has never competed in before.
Volvo will travel to the biennial Shanghai Auto Show in April to introduce an entry-level crossover named XC40, according to recent reports.
The XC40 was previewed by the 40.1 concept (pictured) that was presented last year during an event held at the company’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 40.1’s design isn’t expected to change drastically on its path to production, meaning what we saw in Sweden last year is what we’ll get in showrooms by the end of the year.
Volvo design boss Thomas Ingenlath told Digital Trends his team is going to great lengths to avoid the Russian doll-type styling that many German luxury brands have adopted. To that end, the XC40 will share a handful of key styling cues with the bigger XC90, but it won’t be a Xerox copy of it. The 40 will stand out with a concave grille, a belt line that curves up, rear door handles integrated into C-pillars, and L-shaped tail lamps.
Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform will underpin the XC40. Several other compact models — including the replacement for the V40 hatchback sold in Europe — will adopt the CMA platform in the coming years.
The 40.1 concept didn’t have a full interior when it debuted. However, we expect that designers will again look to the XC90 for inspiration, and that’s not a bad thing. Expect a clean, solidly built interior with Scandinavian design cues such as elegant chrome accents and real wood trim. A large, vertical touchscreen embedded in the dashboard will display the infotainment system.
The turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that Volvo is currently developing will make its debut under the hood of the XC40. A four-cylinder engine will also be available, according to Car News China, and a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be added to the lineup a little later in the production run. Both front- and all-wheel drive will be offered.
Volvo hasn’t revealed when the XC40 will make its debut. If the rumors are accurate and it breaks cover in Shanghai, it will go on sale before the end of the year as a 2018 model. So far, there’s no word on whether the segment-defying 40.2 concept that debuted alongside the 40.1 at the company’s headquarters last year will spawn a production model.