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Future models - Volvo - XC40

Volvo XC40 expected in 2013

Hatching an idea: The forthcoming Volvo V40 hatch will form the basis of an XC40 SUV.

V40 hatchback set to spawn high-riding XC40 as Volvo expands SUV line-up

Volvo logo7 Jun 2012

By DAVID HASSALL

A HIGH-RIDING version of the forthcoming Volvo V40 small car looks set to come to Australia in 2013 as the XC40, creating a new entry point to the Swedish car-maker’s SUV line-up.

It will join the XC60, XC90 and XC70 all-wheel-drive wagons, which Volvo Car Australia managing director Matt Braid believes have helped to dispel the myth of boring Volvos, especially among younger drivers.

The XC40 has been spied without camouflage during a photo and video shoot in Norway, which suggests it is well on track for an expected debut at the Paris motor show in September.

Like the V40 five-door hatchback that was previewed at the Geneva motor show in March this year ahead of an Australian launch early next year, the XC40 is believed to have its origins in Ford’s C1 small-car platform that also spawned the Volvo C30 and C70.

The ‘off-road’ version could be expected to come here in the second half of 2013.

Just as the Subaru XV is clearly based on the Impreza, the XC40 is very much a jacked-up version of the V40, with raised suspension providing an elevated ride height, requiring the de rigueur wheelarch extensions and sill extensions in addition to tougher-looking bumpers and roof rails.

It is intended to provide the Chinese-owned Swedish brand with a rival to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 in the growing luxury small SUV market segment.

Like the V40, the XC40 is expected to have a range of mainly four-cylinder engines, including a super-efficient 1.6-litre diesel, a similar-size petrol GDTi and more powerful 2.0-litre variants as well.

A rumoured high-performance flagship model is likely to get a 187kW turbocharged petrol five-cylinder engine – at least until Volvo’s next generation of super-efficient four-cylinder engines arrives in three to four years.

Most XC40s are expected to be front-wheel-drive, with all-wheel-drive reserved for top-end models or as an option.

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