Volvo has unveiled a new-look Volvo V40 five-door hatchback at the Geneva Show
Steve Cropley Autocar
6 March 2012

Volvo has unveiled a new-look Volvo V40 five-door hatchback at the Geneva motor show designed to revive its fortunes in the premium hatchback class, and steal volume from the dominant BMW 1-series and Audi A3. The outgoing S40 and V50 models die to make way for new V40 production tipped to reach 90,000 units a year at Volvo’s Ghent plant in Belgium.

The car, which combines the virtues of the outgoing S40 and V50 models in one body style, hits the European market late in May, and the UK in August. It comes with six engine options (three petrol and three diesel) spearheaded by a 254 bhp version of Volvo’s own turbo five-cylinder, tipped to deliver a 150 mph top speed and 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Ultimately Volvo will adopt a four cylinders-only strategy and provide high performance versions “by electrification”.

The petrol range has two additional four-pot turbo 1.6s from Ford and rated at 150 bhp and 180 bhp. The diesel range includes 177 bhp and 150 bhp 2.0 litre turbo fives, plus a super-frugal 1.6 litre 115 bhp turbo four emitting just 94 grams/litre CO2. All cars have stop-start systems, brake energy regeneration and Volvo’s improved City Safety anti-collision system that now works at up to 50 km/h (30 mph).

However, the biggest safety development is an all-new pedestrian airbag, that pops the car’s bonnet on impact and provides a large cushion at the base of the screen onto which a pedestrian can fall, yet which is U-shaped to allow the driver visibility to keep steering.

Designed while Ford still owned Volvo, the new V40 has been embraced Geely-appointed CEO Stefan Jacoby. The car will spearhead an aggressive new “Designed Around You” marketing campaign to “revive Volvo’s rightful place in the world”. The new V40 uses Ford Focus platform, though Volvo insists that it has re-rated the electric power steering and revised every spring and damper setting. The car is about four centimetres shorter than the outgoing model, but lower and wider. Kerb weight is still being calculated, engineers say, but it “should be lower”.

It also gets a plush, simple interior meant to embody Scandinavian values. It has mood lighting and even a gently illuminated gear lever knob. The digital dash is interactive.

UK prices are expected to start from just over £19k for a 1.6-litre D2 in entry-level ES specification, which will include the enhanced City Safety system, Pedestrian airbag and Bluetooth system.

Mindful of an urgent need to sell more cars than the current company-wide 450,000, these prices reinforce Volvo’s view that big rises will be avoided.

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Comments
54

28 February 2012

I'm a bit confused then. This is a hatchback that is supposed to replace the saloon and estate v50/s40? So is this bigger than the c30? I have to say, I prefer the concept of having the v50 & s40 available.

28 February 2012

I'm confused surely it would have made more sense to have developed a C30, S40 and V50 off this new V40 then it would have had a complete line up of compact vehicles to tackle Audi, BMW and MB for the global market. It seems they have a single car for limited markets. I rather like it, but I think that might be more to do with the brand than the car itself. Having loved Audi's until 2005 since I was child I am starting to despise their image.

28 February 2012

Checked the C30 prices. C30 seems to be 1 series price range. V40 shouldn't be 1 series competitor

28 February 2012

Oh look, precisely as I am working on this paper about Swedish industry. So they are beginning to follow Audi's footsteps, apparently. This looks like a V60 harvested in a Focus mold. I'll stick to the bigger one, TY.

28 February 2012

This looks much better than a lot of its rivals but the interior has lost the attractive simplicity Volvo excel in with other models.Pity.I agreement with others here its a mistake to replace the V50/S40 with just this model.

28 February 2012

It is especially odd when you consider that it's only us Europeans who have a major fondness of hatchbacks. And the euro car market is hardly booming. The bigger markets, US/China prefer saloons. I am a bit confused at this one. Just not sure who this is supposed to appeal too.

28 February 2012

For all of those who seem to be confused about this: a) there will be a new S40, although maybe not for Europe, and b) it's as much a hatchback as a Lancia/Chrysler Delta, for example. It shouldn't even be that much larger than something like a 5 door Mazda 3. It's also not like the V50 ( or the V60 for that matter ) is a huge old-school Volvo estate anyway, so this should do fine.

Happy that the 5 cil engines remain, even if just initially, but there seem to be a lot of conflicting lines at the rear. It looks much too busy.

 

 

28 February 2012

Looks nice. Should sell well. E

28 February 2012

It sure looks great, but like others have mentiond it seems like a bit of a confusing car to me.

28 February 2012

I like the interior.

It will be serious competitor in the class.

Maybe they broke the fifth door too much?

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