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Future models - Volvo - XC40

First look: Volvo lifts lid on XC40

Life begins at 40: The XC40 will be offered with a diesel and petrol powertrain from launch, but an all-electric and a hybrid version are also expected down the track.

Volvo takes aim at premium crossover sales stars with new XC40

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Volvo logo21 Sep 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

VOLVO has finally ripped the covers off its new XC40 crossover that will be the company’s first contender in the burgeoning compact SUV segment and face stiff competition from its premium rivals.

The XC40 is set to hit Australian showrooms in the second quarter of 2018 and will be pitched as a rival for the likes of the Audi Q2 and Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus NX, Mini Countryman and the upcoming Jaguar E-Pace.

Revealed in Milan, Italy today, the XC40 marks the third SUV in Volvo’s portfolio following the large XC90 and mid-size XC60, and ensures that the Swedish brand is now covered in the main SUV segments.

As reported, the XC40 will be underpinned by the new CMA modular vehicle architecture that was co-developed with Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely and will form the basis for all other ‘40 series’ models as well as future compact Geely models.

Other models in Volvo’s 40 series are likely to include a small sedan – previewed by a concept revealed in May last year – and a replacement for the ageing V40 hatchback.

From launch, the XC40 will be offered with a D4 turbo-diesel and a T5 turbo-petrol Drive-E powertrain, but Volvo is yet to reveal engine outputs and performance figures.

Down the track, the XC40 will gain a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric version and it will be the first Volvo to be powered by a three-cylinder engine.

A Volvo Car Australia spokesperson said the company would lock in the D4 and T5 from launch and added that it was “interested” in the electrified powertrains.

The XC40 will gain connectivity and infotainment tech from its XC60 and 90 siblings, which has prompted Volvo to claim that its new baby will be “one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs on the market”.

It also gains driver assistance and safety features such as a Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support and a 360-degree camera.

Volvo will introduce its 'Car by Volvo' subscription service with the new XC40 that is designed to change the traditional model of car ownership, according to the car-maker.

It involves people paying a monthly flat fee subscription which allows access to various digital concierge services, and the car can be shared with other people via the Volvo on Call service that includes a new digital key technology.

While the Care by Volvo service will be available in Europe and some other markets, it will not be offered in Australia for the time being.

Volvo has not revealed exterior or interior dimensions but the XC40 features a variety of storage options inside including a removable waste bin, a fold-out hook for small bags, a space for inductive mobile phone charging and more storage space under the seats and in the doors.

The XC40 has been part of a lengthy teaser campaign since the reveal of the concept that previewed it back in May last year.

The production model remains faithful to the concept, with the swept up look from the rear door panel into the C-pillar, the dual-tone roof and body, Thor’s hammer LED daytime running lights, Volvo’s signature vertical tail-lights and a tailgate spoiler.

Volvo Car Australia managing director Kevin McCann said the XC40 would be a welcome addition to the local line-up and will fit the lifestyle of many Australians.

“Volvo has a strong leadership in design. The new XC40 is no exception, even by our alreadyhigh standards,” he said.

“We wanted the XC40 to be a fresh, creative and distinctive member of the Volvo line-up, allowingits drivers to put their personality in their driveway. Drivers want a car that reflects theirpersonality, and the XC40 is that car.

“The exterior has an athletic sculpture, while the interior of the XC40 is multifaceted andingenious, making it yet another example of our human-centric approach. The XC40 is a perfectcar for an active Australian lifestyle, and perfectly represents our ongoing transformation plan.”

Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said Milan was the perfect place to show off the new crossover.

“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brandand moving it in a new direction,” he said. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up. So it only feels natural to reveal the XC40 here in Milan, a buzzing European hotspot for fashion, art, design and lifestyle.”

Production kicks off at Volvo’s Ghent, Belgium factory in November.

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Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.