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Geneva show: Volvo teases V40 small car

Sunny outlook: The sun shines out of Volvo's new V40, which will be fully revealed at Geneva.

Volvo’s new V40 likely to replace C30 as the Swedish brand’s new entry model

16 Feb 2012

THE all-new Volvo V40 that is primed to be sprung at this year’s Geneva motor show next month is likely to be a replacement for the Swedish brand’s entry-level C30 hatch, not the S40 sedan and V50 wagon twins as has been widely speculated around the world.

Volvo Car Australia (VCA) today confirmed that the still-secret V40 would be “absolutely” coming to Australia, probably within 12 months.

Teased on a Volvo Facebook page ahead of its global unveiling at the annual Swiss extravaganza, the V40 has been officially shown only in a fuzzy back-lit photo that gives little away.

The image is consistent with the theory that the V40 – reviving the nameplate from a Volvo wagon that was discontinued in 2004 – will be a five-door hatchback, not a station wagon in the Volvo ‘V’ tradition.

And GoAuto has heard a rumour that the new vehicle will become the new entry model to the Volvo range, replacing the current baby C30 three-door hatch.

18 center imageLeft: Volvo's V40 Facebook teaser page. Below: The Volvo C30.

This means that at some point, the ageing S40 and V50 twins are likely to be phased out, with buyers stepping from the new and more substantial V40 hatch to the S60 sedan and V60 wagon.

As GoAuto reported last October, a Volvo executive suggested that the upcoming five-door small car – essentially a second-generation C30 with five doors and five seats – could only become a reality once Ford was out of the picture, for fear of Volvo offering an in-house rival to its crucial Focus.

The upcoming small car gives the Swedes a bona fide competitor against the established Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz B-class in the most popular class size in Australia as well as around the world.

Last year, Volvo sold 413 of the C30 hatchbacks in Australia, where prices start from $36,990 for the Ford EcoBoost-engined 1.6-litre C30 DRIVe manual, and range as high as $43,490 for the top R-Design level of the three five-cylinder petrol variants.

As five-door small cars are far more popular than three-door hatches in this market, the new V40 is likely to have greater appeal to prestige small-car buyers. Audi’s A3 found 1565 buyers in Australia last year – almost four times as many as the C30.

VCA public affairs manager Laurissa Mirabelli today confirmed that the new V40 was confirmed for Australian sales, arriving late this year or early 2013.

“We certainly expect it within the next 12 months,” she said.

The new S60 that was introduced in Australia in late 2010 has added much need passenger car strength to the model line-up of Volvo, which was fast becoming the Swedish SUV company with the success of its ‘XC’ range, in particular the XC60 – its top-selling model with 1575 sales last year – and the XC90 (1348).

Thanks to the S60, which achieved 810 sales for the 12 months, Volvo sales grew 6.6 per cent over 2010.

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