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.
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.