Currently reading: Work under way on Volvo V40 replacement
Replacement for today's V40 is in development as part of a new family of small premium cars from Volvo

Work on the all-new platform that will underpin Volvo’s future range of compact cars - including a replacement for the V40 - is well under way with parent company Geely at a new research facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, according to Volvo’s research and development boss, Peter Mertens.

The new architecture is dubbed CMA. Mertens said the development work was especially challenging because the new ‘tool box’ of component sets and structural sub-assemblies would have to be versatile enough to form the basis of models in both mainstream and premium sectors.

“We have to cover everything from the mass market to an Audi A3 rival with CMA. Volkswagen’s MQB is doing something similar, but we have to push hard to ensure that we can have greater differentiation [between Geely and Volvo models],” he said.

The architecture will also underpin a compact crossover, likely to be badged XC40. Mertens said the CMA platform will be vital in helping to reduce Volvo’s corporate fuel economy average, because the Swedes are hoping to expand significantly in the premium compact market. Currently, Volvo achieves about 110,000 sales annually for the V40 and V40 Cross Country.

Mertens, who said he is “deeply involved” in the CMA architecture, has form in this tricky area. He led the platform design work on the General Motors structure that was used globally to underpin cars at different price levels and aimed at different markets, including the Vauxhall Astra, upmarket Buick Verano and budget Chevrolet Cruze.

Early last year, it was confirmed that Geely was working on a new family of small premium cars which included a replacement for the V40. The project will yield a range of similarly sized models for Geely, which sells a variety of brands in China.

Commenting on the decision to collaborate between themselves rather than seeking outside help, joint venture boss Mäts Fagerhag said: "We are in charge of our own destiny."

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Paul Dalgarno 12 October 2015

Don't know about the current V40, but..

the V60 I had was dynamically inept. Thought it looked great, but the lack of traction out of tight junctions, the hard yet rolling suspension, the notchy gearbox, and the poor control weightings relative to each other were all miles off the pace. My lesson - take a car for a full day before buying!

Anybody got a V40 on here, is it nearer the pace?

xxxx 9 October 2015

you've a problem winnie the poo

Stop going on about astras. The article was about the V40 sales and I compared the figures to a golf. You need to see someone and quick
winniethewoo 9 October 2015

xxxx wrote: Stop going on

xxxx wrote:

Stop going on about astras. The article was about the V40 sales and I compared the figures to a golf. You need to see someone and quick

Can't I come and see you for a short back and sides and then get a go in your Cascada?

winniethewoo 9 October 2015

VW sold 523,000 Golfs across

VW sold 523,000 Golfs across Europe in 2014.

GM sold 179,000 Astras.

179,000 annually and globally? For what is a supposed Golf rival, that's bad. The Golf sells that many in London alone during a long lunch break. Next version needs to be less ugly with better interior layout.