The Volvo XC40 compact SUV due in 2017, plus its high-riding sedan twin, have been previewed by two concept cars from the Swedish brand.
Volvo’s concepts, labelled simply 40.1 and 40.2, sit on the company’s new vehicle platform for small cars, dubbed the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).
The 40.1 specifically showcases the vision for a long-awaited XC40 that will give Volvo a much-needed rival to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The platform would also underpin the next-generation version of the V40 hatchback and other models.
The 40.2 concept is a high-riding sedan with a ‘liftback’ tailgate, and Volvo describes the vehicle as “a departure for Volvo and something new in the premium small segment”. A production version could revive the S40 nameplate and become a competitor to Audi’s A3 sedan and Mercedes’ CLA.
Volvo claims its CMA-based vehicles will feature the world’s most advanced suite of standard safety features and is targeting class-leading fuel consumption and emissions from new drivetrains.
Volvo has also announced a new T5 Twin Engine layout, which teams a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The combination is believed to be capable of producing up to 225kW and the concept puts its power to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
At this stage, that makes the T5 differ from the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, which also combines petrol and electric power but is all-wheel drive.
The T5 turbo petrol engine is expected to be offered in models without electric assistance, reportedly with a power output of up to 150kW. A four-cylinder diesel engine is also anticipated.
Once in production we expect the XC40 to be offered with all-wheel drive, potentially with the front wheels powered by a conventional engine and the rear wheels powered by an electric motor.
Volvo will also produce all-electric small cars as part of its global plan to sell one million electrified vehicles by 2025.
The first of Volvo’s new small cars will go into production in 2017 and is set to be the XC40. Volvo Australia says the first of the new compact Volvos will arrive here either in late 2017 or early 2018.