Compact SUV will spearhead a new family of small Volvo models starting in 2017
30 December 2015

Volvo will launch the XC40 SUV to lead a major expansion of its small car line-up, starting in 2017.

The Swedish manufacturer started revamping its model range at the top end, first with the XC90 and then the S90, but by 2019 the first of those cars will be the oldest model in the company’s line-up and its baby cousin, the XC40, could well be the firm’s biggest seller.

Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson confirmed the plan to build a small SUV and extend the ‘40’ range at the recent S90 launch. “We want to build 
a broader range of ‘40’ cars,” he said. “Today we only have the hatchback, but we want more, and with the new technology that we’re working on, we will have the means to expand the line-up.

“Highest on my list is a small SUV, because that’s where the market is going,” he added.

The XC40 will sit on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which is being developed in partnership with the brand’s Chinese parent firm, Geely. CMA is designed to be premium enough to allow Geely to develop more upmarket products while supporting a more profitable, wider range of Volvo’s 40-series models.

These will include a successor to the Volkswagen Golf-rivalling V40 hatchback and a small saloon called S40, in effect a rival for the Audi A3 saloon and BMW’s upcoming 2 Series saloon.

However, the charge is likely to be led by the XC40, which has already been spied testing. Development mules based on a jacked-up V40 have shown how much taller the XC40 will be. It will feature an extremely upright stance, making it more of an SUV than the crossover-like Mercedes-Benz GLA and the new Infiniti QX30. It’s likely to feature a version of Volvo’s new concave front grille, but standard editions will get less sophisticated headlights than the so-called ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED arrangement that features on the S90 and XC90.

As with the larger Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), used under the XC90 and S90, CMA will be engineered for comfort more than outright agility. It will get a cheaper rear suspension arrangement than SPA’s composite leaf spring set-up, though - most likely a relatively simple torsion beam.

CMA will also be engineered for hybrid powertrains, with Volvo insiders claiming the firm has achieved some “strong solutions” in packaging a small electric motor along with the gearbox. Volvo’s head of R&D, Peter Mertens, said: “Small diesels are becoming harder and harder to justify in small cars, because of the costly technologies that are required to make them comply.”

That could be a sign that Volvo is considering using a small petrol-electric hybrid powertrain in the cleanest 40-series models - with a 
set-up based around its 
new turbocharged 1.5-litre 
three-cylinder engine - instead of a conventional turbodiesel. Samuelsson also hinted at this. “I think in the future, and independently of ‘dieselgate’, we will see some more petrol sales, and of course, more electrification - the mix of a small petrol engine and an electric motor,” he said. “We will have it on all of our cars.”

The extended line-up of 40-series models will allow Volvo to develop three distinct production sites around the world. The V40, S40 and XC40 will all be produced out of the firm’s facility in Ghent, Belgium, while the XC90 and S90 will be made in Torslanda, near Gothenburg, Sweden, and the XC60 and S60 will come out of a new facility in South Carolina in the United States.

Our Verdict

Volvo XC90 2003-2014
The XC90 led the charge for seven seat SUVs when it launched in 2003

The Volvo XC90 is a big seven seat SUV in desperate need of modernisation, despite still having some strengths

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Comments
23

20 February 2015

Its remarkable the good sense shown by Jaguar and Volvo after being released from Fords shackles. It begs the question... what were Ford thinking?

A34

20 February 2015

... and what were Volvo and JLR thinking in not collaborating on the new 2.0l engine ranges?

20 February 2015

Shame, as it would have made commercial sense.

20 February 2015

I'm interested to see what the new V90 might look like, although it sounds like it will be unaffordable.


wmb

20 February 2015

Sad to here that the S80 will be leaving us! Had so much hope that it would rise to compete with at least the entry level versions of the A6, E Class and the 5 Series. But with the original concepts of the S and V 90 being a size up from the S80, would that leave a space in their line up between the compact 60 Series and the full size 90???? With Volvo having at least SOME experience in building midsize vehicles and especially Benz and BMW having moved the ball so far along in the full size segment, will this be the BEST midsize car that Volvo has ever made, but still be one of the WORST full size vehicles in the class when compared to the current competition? With them saving money in their development by using a four cylinder, they can use more toward the vehicle, but will that engine be enough to compete with the big brands? Only time will tell!

20 February 2015
wmb wrote:

With them saving money in their development by using a four cylinder, they can use more toward the vehicle, but will that engine be enough to compete with the big brands? Only time will tell!

Considering the majority of sales from the opposition Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, especially in Europe are 2.0 diesels, and Volvos new engines are as good or better than theirs, it shouldnt be a problem, however if the predicted shift back towards petrol occurs, they have a brand new one of them as well, plus, they are far more advanced down the hybrid or plug in hybrid route than the Germans as well.

Jaguar meanwhile are lagging behind and are still heavily reliant on Ford and PSA for its large capacity diesels and petrols and are not even close to hybridisation.

4 November 2015
Citytiger wrote:
wmb wrote:

With them saving money in their development by using a four cylinder, they can use more toward the vehicle, but will that engine be enough to compete with the big brands? Only time will tell!

...they have a brand new one of them as well, plus, they are far more advanced down the hybrid or plug in hybrid route than the Germans as well.
.....

Far more advanced? have you forgotten about the i8, i3, A3 e-tron, golf-hybrid or i3 range extender cars

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 November 2015
xxxx wrote:
Citytiger wrote:
wmb wrote:

With them saving money in their development by using a four cylinder, they can use more toward the vehicle, but will that engine be enough to compete with the big brands? Only time will tell!

...they have a brand new one of them as well, plus, they are far more advanced down the hybrid or plug in hybrid route than the Germans as well.
.....

Far more advanced? have you forgotten about the i8, i3, A3 e-tron, golf-hybrid or i3 range extender cars

BMW icars, really, the i8 is a sportscar with a starting price of 100k, the i3 is a joke, how many have you actually seen on the road? Also are they really practical, they dont even have a boot, and the less said about VW group vehicles the better, if you haven't noticed, they lie..

20 February 2015

I can't even begin to imagine how many little press "leaks" we're going to be treated to over this period. Pretty much anything new could be released in this time period.

4 November 2015

Not sure if the V40 can carry on for another 4 years, it needed a XC version around the same time as Q3 was released i.e. several years ago. The other problem with this press release is with the statement "Okay, if a V8 is that important to you, you’re probably not a Volvo customer" or in other words we can't develop and make a profit on £50,000 cars with anything other than a straight 4 cylinder engine being the main power source. Like the way he said V8 rather than V6 so as to avoid pointing customers to the Q5/Q7 option

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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