Speaking to Autocar earlier this spring at the launch of the London Taxi Company's (LTC) new electric taxi - which Volvo has helped develop - Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson hinted that a new three-pot engine would be introduced to the range via the XC40 by stating that it's destined for an upcoming CMA-based model (which the XC40 is).
The engine is derived from Volvo’s existing four-cylinder 2.0-litre unit, and will be joined by both diesel and petrol engines, with and without turbocharging, in the XC40 line-up.
The new three-cylinder engine will also be available in hybrid guise, producing 180bhp and mated to a 74bhp electric motor. This setup is similar to the one used in the LTC electric taxi, but Samuelsson explained that the Volvo's main power source would be the three-cylinder, whereas that car uses the engine purely to charge its batteries.
The front-wheel-drive XC40 hybrid, called the T5 Twin Engine, will have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox which will also receive direct input from the electric motor. The hybrid will be capable of driving up to 30 miles under electric power alone.
The new XC40 will be the first Volvo to use the brand’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which will underpin several more of Volvo's models, as well as by its parent company Geely, for its Chinese-market models.
If the XC40 follows the trend set by the larger XC60, which will launch this year as a Jaguar F-Pace rival, it could feature a sportier set-up than previously on regular Volvos in order to cater to European demand for sharper-handling cars.
Given its place in the small SUV segment, the XC40 will likely be priced competitively against its rivals which all cost from slightly more than £25,000. Higher-specification XC40s could also be considered as rivals to the Range Rover Evoque, which is priced from £30,600.
The XC40 is expected to be revealed later this year as the first of three 40 series range models. It'll be followed by a S40 saloon and V40 Estate in 2019. The latter car will be available in both regular and the more rugged Cross Country guises.