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Volvo teases electric XC40

All-electric XC40 revealed in sketches ahead of public launch and 2020 rollout

3 Oct 2019

VOLVO has released sketches of its first Volvo-badged fully electric car, showing for the first time the XC40-based SUV’s exterior modifications that include a closed-in grille that will house a new suite of advanced sensors that take the Swedish marque one step closer to autonomous driving.


Due to be shown in full on October 16, the battery-powered XC40 has been confirmed for sale in Australia from late 2020. According to a previous announcement, it is scheduled to be made in China by Volvo’s joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC).


Although powertrain and performance details are yet to be announced, the new XC40 variant is expected to get twin motors – one at the front and the other at the rear – for all-wheel-drive performance.


Volvo, which aims sell up to one million EVs a year by 2025, has confirmed that the vehicle will sit on its compact modular architecture (CMA) that was designed from the outset to take an electric drivetrain and under-floor battery pack.


This layout is similar to the set-up used by sister brand Polestar’s electric Polestar 2 that also is built on the CMA platform and uses a 78kWh battery pack.


Intriguingly, Volvo says the XC40 EV will get “a brand new driver interface specifically designed for electric cars (that) keeps drivers up to date on relevant information such as battery status”. No sketches of the interior were supplied, so we will have to wait for the full release to see what this means.


Volvo did, however, confirm that the XC40 EV will get a handy 30-litre luggage space under the bonnet – dubbed a ‘frunk’ – in room freed up by the smaller electric drivetrain. This supplements the usual cargo area at the back. The company also promises extra storage space inside the cabin.


We also can see from the images that the plug-in charging point is where the fuel filler cap normally is, on the side towards the rear.


Other confirmed details include 19- and 20-inch wheels, carpets made from recycled materials and eight exterior colour choices, including a new one, Sage green.


Volvo Cars head of design Robin Head said the XC40 EV was a great example of Scandinavian design with its emphasis on “visual clarity and the reduction of element”.


“Its bold, instantly recognisable design is now even sleeker and more modern in the all-electric version,” he said. “Without the need for a grille, we have created an even cleaner and more modern face, while the lack of tailpipes does the same at the rear.


“This is the approach we will explore more and more as we continue down the road of electrification.”

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