Volvo XC40 details revealed as brand criticises current small SUVs

Volvo XC40

Volvo has strong words to say about the premium small SUV segment and confirms the XC40 will be its smallest XC model

Volvo has confirmed that the XC40 will be the smallest SUV in its line-up.

This quells rumours that Volvo’s recently hinted-at ’20’ series, which will be the smallest models the company makes, will spawn an SUV variant akin to the Mini Countryman and Audi Q2.

Despite this, Volvo is aggressively taking aim at the current premium small SUV market in which the XC40 will compete, going so far as to describe the segment as “lacking in individuality and playfulness”.

The XC40, which will be the first car based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture, aims at a more youthful audience than the more grown-up XC60 and XC90 models. The XC40 offers a number of customisation options to reflect this, with a greater level of exterior and interior colour combinations than any previous Volvo. Unusual interior options such as orange carpet and red upholstery have been suggested.

The XC40 will be revealed this autumn, and the brand’s description of the model distances it from the rest of the range, including a wider variety of materials used. A panel embossed with map-like patterns is shown in the official teaser shots that have been released, as are more rugged, block-metal and driftwood-like materials. This is the first official glance we’ve had of any element of the car, despite spy photographers catching the car in development.

“We wanted the XC40 to be a fresh, creative and distinctive member of the Volvo line-up, allowing its drivers to put their personality in their driveway,” said Volvo design boss Thomas Ingenlath. “XC40 drivers are interested in fashion, design and popular culture and often live in large, vibrant cities. They want a car that reflects their personality. The XC40 is that car.”

Volvo also confirmed its three trim levels for the XC40 range: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Despite being the entry-level trim, Momentum is described as the most fashion-conscious in the range. As per Volvo’s other models, R-Design will be sportier and Inscription more luxurious. 

A full list of engine options hasn’t yet been confirmed, but at the heart of the range will be a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit derived from the brand’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol. Diesel engines are certain to appear too, and both naturally aspirated and turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will feature. A 180bhp hybrid, with a 106bhp petrol engine and a 74bhp electric motor, will top the range, under the T5 Twin Engine badge. It’ll be front-wheel drive, with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, and it will have the capacity for 30 miles of electric-only range.

Prices for the XC40 range are expected to start at around £25,000, undercutting rivals such as the upcoming  Jaguar E-Pace (priced from £28,500), as well as the existing Audi Q3 (£27,610) and  Range Rover Evoque (£30,600).

Source: Autocar Online

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