Volvo has unveiled the third member of its SUV range with the all-new XC40 small SUV unveiled at an event in Milan, signalling the first time the Swedish brand’s SUV lineup exceeds its passenger car range.
As a brand traditionally associated with boxy wagons, Volvo’s move to SUVs has been a natural one, with a current range that includes the large seven-seat XC90, the new medium XC60 set to launch in Australia next month, and finally the brand’s first small SUV, the XC40.
Beneath the boxy bodywork the XC40 rides on a new modular front-drive architecture developed between Volvo and its Chinese parent company Geely. Called CMA (for Compact Modular Architecture) the new chassis structure as been designed to accept conventional engines, hybrid and fully-electric powertrain configurations.
For Australia Volvo has confirmed a 140kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder in D4 specification, and a 187kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol four cylinder in T5 guise initially, with hybrid and pure electric version to join the range later on.
The CX40 will also be the first of Volvo’s range to use the company's 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine family, but has yet to confirm whether they will be offered in Australian models.
Volvo’s traditional focus on safety carries over to the new compact model, with the XC40 available with a host of semi-autonomous driving features, such as Pilot Assist that operates in heavy traffic, as well as emergency braking, run off-road mitigation, cross traffic alert but the split of standard and optional safety systems is yet to be announced.
Connectivity also follows the lead set by the larger XC60 and XC90, with Volvo’s iPad-style Sensus touchscreen system handling the majority of navigation, entertainment, climate, and interior commands, paired with a fully-digital instrument cluster.
Unlike the other relatively conservative members of the Volvo range, the XC40 has been targeted at a more youthful audience and will be available with a range of vivid colours inside and out, with two-tone exterior finishes and textured trims available for the interior.
As the first in a range of 40-Series models, the XC40 will be joined over time by a range of models including a new S40 sedan, and V40 wagon with the potential to also add a sporty-styled replacement for the previous C30 hatch.
Volvo also used the reveal of the XC40 to unveil a new way for customers to purchase their vehicle. Called Care by Volvo, the program allows owners to pay a flat-rate monthly subscription to cover the cost of the vehicle packaged with insurance, taxes, and servicing costs with the ability to upgrade to a new vehicle every two years.
Care by Volvo also extends to a concierge service meaning owners never have to bother with re-fuelling, washing and or dropping their vehicle off for servicing, with on-call attendants to take care of those details.
The technology behind the system can also generate a digital key should owners wish to share their car with friends or family who can then access the car via smartphone. The Care by Volvo scheme will first operate in Europe and the United States with Volvo planning to expand it around the world, potentially including Australia, in due course.
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