With Volvo’s unveiling of the Concept 40.1, the Swedish brand has given us the clearest indication yet of what we can expect of an all-new compact SUV – a model due to become the new XC40.
New Volvo XC40 styling
The XC40 is unlikely to vary drastically from the Concept 40.1’s design when it comes into production. While it bears an obvious family resemblance to larger Volvo siblings, the new model looks set to take the brand in a sharper, more youthful direction in order to appeal to the younger compact SUV buyers of today.
As a result, the sleek, elegant lines of larger Volvos are ditched in favour of swollen wheel arches and taut surfaces, particularly across the doors and bonnet. Thick C-pillars (the section between the rear doors and the rear window) add to the muscular appearance, as does the contrasting black roof, which matches the 4×4-inspired cladding surrounding the lower section of the car.
New Volvo XC40 driving and engines
The XC40 is set to ride upon an all-new platform, which will not only be capable of housing a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but a fully electric system at a later date, too.
The “Twin Engine” petrol/electric hybrid will operate much like the system already used by the XC90 T8. However, the XC40’s system, dubbed T5, will make use of a smaller 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, supplemented by a 74hp electric unit. The latter should allow for a potential 30-mile petrol-free range, and emissions levels which Volvo claims will be class-leading. The powertrain will be paired with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, which sends drive through the front wheels only. However, Volvo says that the XC40 is capable of housing a four-wheel drive system for future models.
A fully electric version, promising a 200-mile plus range, should help Volvo achieve its target of one million sales of electrified cars (that includes both hybrid and fully electric vehicles) by 2025.
New Volvo XC40 prices and release date
The production version of the Concept 40.1 is due to hit showrooms in 2017. The fully-electric model is expected to follow later, with a likely 2019 release. If that seems to far in the future, why not configure a Volvo that’s currently on sale to see just how much you could save.