When the Swedes do it better.
Now that Volvo’s settled the transformation and expansion of its XC family of SUVs, it is now turning its attention to the 40-Series of cars at the entry-level step in its fleet. With the XC40 acting as a starting point, the next model in Volvo’s crosshairs for ‘reinvention’ will be the V40 hatchback, and they intend to hold nothing back.
The new V40 will rival the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class when it arrives, in a segment that’s heated up considerably since the V40 first emerged on the market ever such a long time ago. Indeed, only it and the S60 saloon remain underpinned by old platforms, dating back to when Volvo was under the ownership of Ford. This won’t remain the case for much longer though, with engineers and designers having been given their orders to do to the V40 as they’ve done with the rest of the Volvo lineup.
As such, the V40 will enjoy the same chassis dimensions as the XC40 SUV, which when paired with a (significantly) lower roofline, will ensure that the new V40 looks dynamic and poised. This will pair up with the improved driving dynamics that Volvo’s head of R&D commented on, when he spoke to AutoExpress.
“CMA is a good platform to build the SUV — the XC40 — but we can also build low, dynamic cars with it. XC40 aims for an urban environment, giving you comfort and also the commanding view in traffic. But we don’t have to follow this approach with other 40-Series models that are coming.” — Henrik Green, Head of R&D, Volvo Cars
When the V40 arrives, it’s expected to offer two four-cylinder turbodiesels in D3 and D4 guises, as well as a three-cylinder T3 turbo-petrol, as well as four-cylinder turbocharged petrol T4 and T5 mills. Thanks to CMA being developed with electrification in mind from the outset, the V40 will be offered in both plug-in hybrid and full-electric versions too.
On the subject of an all-electric drivetrains, Green talked about how the V40 will pack the batteries into the compact V40, and about the capacity of those batteries.
“In purely physical terms, we have to fit the battery in the floor, but CMA gives us pretty good bandwidth. For each electric car, we will typically have at least two different battery sizes on offer. The base variant will be more cost-efficient, but with a slightly limited range, and there will be a bigger option with a higher price, but more range and power.” — Henrik Green, Head of R&D, Volvo Cars
With so much shared with the XC40, the new V40 is expected to pack things we liked in the SUV, like the enormous door bins, under-seat drawers, and foldable boot floor. The 9-inch Sensus infotainment screen is expected to be carried-over wholesale as well, as will a fully-digitised instrument display.