21.9.2017New Volvo XC40 launched
Volvo has unveiled its XC40 - the company's first compact SUV - in Milan, with the new model set to be available as a pure-electric model.
The XC40 is the first of the new 40-Series line-up to come along, and will complete the Volvo range once all other variants have been launched.
It is also the first model to use Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) which, like the larger SPA architecture, has been designed with electrification in mind. Volvo has said that the CMA will underpin all 40-Series cars, including fully electrified vehicles.
Another first for the XC40 is a new range of engines set to become available. The current line-up of 2.0 litre petrols and diesels - in various states of tune and with or without an electric powertrain - will be available from launch. However, Volvo's new 1.5 litre three-cylinder units will first see service in the XC40.
Initially though, three petrols - T3, T4, and T5 - and two diesels - D3 and D4 - will be available with power outputs between 150 and 250hp. All models apart from the '3' engined variants come with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.
Although Volvo only mentions a rather generic 'hybridised' model set to join the initial offering of petrol and diesel units at a later date, a TwinEngine PHEV model is expected to fulfil that promise. Each of the other 'new' models from Volvo - the XC60, S90, V90, V90 XC, and XC90 - all offer petrol, diesel, and PHEV options.
More importantly though, the XC40 looks set to be Volvo's first production pure-EV. Volvo's plans on electric models have been widely reported - including performance-brand Polestar's EV focus - and the XC40's size and expected price point look set to create a popular EV.
As with all Volvo's, safety is a real strength, with features such as the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving technology included. It will also offer City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, and Cross Traffic Alert with brake support and 360 degree camera.
These safety features will complement elements such as Volvo's infotainment system, excellent cabin design, and car sharing technology to provide one of the best equipped cars in its class.
Production will start in November, with order books open now. Prices start at Â£27,905 for the T3 FWD Momentum manual, rising to just over Â£40,000 for the T5 AWD First Edition Auto. Volvo's core trim levels of Momentum, R Design, and Inscription - with Pro versions of each too - are retained from 60- and 90-Series models. UK XC40 deliveries not expected until early 2018.