Cars - Volvo

Road tests and reviews of the latest Volvo models available in South Africa

New Volvo's Previewed

By Franky Johnson

20/05/2016 - The next Volvo S40 and new Volvo XC40 crossover have been previewed with two concept cars at an event in the brand's home country of Sweden this week. The two cars, dubbed Concept 40.1 and Concept 40.2, are an initial look at the first production Volvos to be developed in full under the ownership of Chinese company Geely.

The next-generation S40 previewed here will sit alongside the Volkswagen Golf-rivalling V40 hatchback, while the XC40 crossover version is aimed at the relatively new premium compact crossover class, which includes the Infiniti QX30 and forthcoming Audi Q2. Both are based on a new mechanical platform called CMA, which stands for ‘Compact Modular Architecture’.

Although the last S40 was a conventional saloon, the Concept 40.2 (above) suggests the new model will look more like a crossover and will sit higher up, despite the introduction of a dedicated compact crossover in the shape of the XC40. A the rear, the Concept 40.2 draws inspiration from the recently revealed Volvo S90 saloon.

The Concept 40.1, which previews the Volvo XC40, is reminiscent of the larger Volvo XC90 SUV and features the brand's trademark ‘Thor's Hammer’ headlights and a prominent grille.

Both the S40 and XC40 will be available with a variety of engines, starting with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol capable of delivering up to 200bhp. A four-cylinder diesel will also feature, as well as a hybrid that pairs the three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The latter is expected to generate up to 300bhp while keeping CO2 emissions down at around 100g/km.

The S40 and XC40's platform can be fitted with four-wheel drive and even more efficient plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions of the cars are expected to form part of the line-up by 2020 (although Volvo will launch a larger electric car first).

Volvo research and development boss Peter Mertens confirmed to our sister title Auto Express that the company would not be developing specific electric or hybrid models like the Renault ZOE, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq. Instead, Volvo will offer hybrid and electric drivetrains alongside petrol and diesel options in its models.

Of the two models previewed this week, the XC40 will be the first to go on sale. It's likely to arrive in 2017.

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