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Paris show: Volvo jacks up V40 with Cross Country

All four one: Only the flagship T5 variant of Volvo’s V40 Cross Country will get all-wheel-drive and hill descent control to back up its beefy body cladding and increased ground clearance.

Crossover-styled V40 Cross Country to provide Volvo with compact luxury SUV entry

19 Sep 2012

VOLVO will debut a jacked-up, tougher-looking crossover version of its new V40 hatchback at next week’s Paris motor show, wearing Cross Country branding instead of being named XC40 as expected.

Its ride height has been pumped up by 40mm and the usual crossover visual cues like black lower body cladding and silver scuff plates have been applied, creating what could be considered a premium European version of the Subaru XV.

But according to Greek website 4troxoi, which leaked the images and details, only the Cross Country’s most powerful T5 variant – packing a 187kW/370Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-petrol engine – will get true off-road credentials with all-wheel-drive and hill descent control.

Being essentially a modified passenger car, the Cross Country is more in the style of Volvo’s wagon-based XC70 than the traditionally SUV-like XC60 and XC90.

Despite the emergence of the V40 Cross Country – of which spy shots emerged in June leading to rumours of an XC40 – Volvo is still rumoured to be working on a fully-fledged compact luxury SUV to compete more directly with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

18 center imageIn the interim the Cross Country looks like a good chance for Australia and GoAuto understands the local outfit is investigating a business case for adding it to the V40 line-up that will launch Down Under in February.

Helping its case will be Subaru’s success with the XV, which has quickly become the Japanese company’s second best-seller in Australia after the Forester and the third most popular car in the VFACTS small SUV segment.

Once Cross Country production begins late this year, Volvo is expecting to sell 15,000 examples world-wide per year, with half going to Europe, according to 4troxoi.

Front-drive Cross Country variants will be mostly consistent with the standard V40 line-up, which is sold in Europe with a choice of 132kW/300Nm 2.0-litre T4 petrol, 84kW/220Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel D2 and 130kW/400Nm 2.0-litre five-cylinder diesel D4.

4troxoi says the European V40’s entry-level 132kW/240Nm 1.6-litre T3 petrol engine – that is off the menu for the Australian-delivered V40 – will not be fitted to the Cross Country.

Volvo Australia recently confirmed the V40 range will be topped by the R-Design hot hatch also due be premiered at Paris, powered exclusively in this country by the punchy T5 engine while featuring special 18-inch alloy wheels, body kit, sporty interior and chassis tweaks.

The T5 R-Design sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 6.5 seconds on the way to a 250km/h top speed.

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