Small cars are the in thing right now. It has become the order of the day for one automaker to produce a new hatchback, while another is debuting a sedan, while yet another is showcasing a hot wagon or a compact crossover. These small cars compose the biggest portion of many automakers sales. The trend is similar even with luxury giants like Mercedes, Audi and BMW. In fact, even these automakers are concentrating more on the small cars. Not to be left out on the cold, Volvo launched their V40 hatchback and the V40 Cross Country, models that have had a rough going against the German luxury haulers. Not one to give up, Volvo is at it again, this time Volvo has released two concepts dubbed, the Volvo 40.1 Concept which previews a compact crossover which could be dubbed the XC40 when it hits the market and Volvo 40.2 which previews a small sedan which will probably adopt the S40 nametag.
The two concepts are based on the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). This platform is specifically built to support compact and small cars. Both vehicles feature the automaker’s new design language which we have seen on the new S90 sedan and XC90 SUV. This review will concentrate on the Volvo 40.1 Concept; the 40.2 Concept is reviewed separately.
Volvo 40.1 Concept Exterior
The Volvo 40.1 Concept is immediately recognizable as a Volvo. The model looks like a compact XC90. The crossover comes with all Volvo trademarks including the signature Volvo grille flanked by the unique “Thor’s hammer” headlights and DRLs. On the sides, the crossover concept features the same muscular wheel arches we are familiar with as well as larger wheels.
The wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero 255/45R20 tires. The flanks also feature ultra-thin mirrors and unique “hammer-like” door handles. At the rear, the vehicle also looks like a Volvo. It includes the all familiar C-shaped taillights which stretch from the roof spoiler and almost touch the rear bumper. The rear also features “VOLVO” lettering.
Though some features like the door handles and side mirrors will be toned down for production purposes, the 40.1 Concept looks almost ready for production. I won’t be surprised if the model is released to the market earlier than anticipated.
Volvo 40.1 Concept Interior
Volvo has not revealed the interior of the crossover. I suspect the interior is not ready as at now and Volvo only wanted to show the public their new compact crossover look. I also believe the interior of the production model will borrow much from the recent XC90. Going by the XC90, you can expect a convenient and luxurious cabin with the latest safety and connectivity technologies.
Engine and performance
While the automaker has not confirmed the specific drive-trains under the 40.1 Concept’s hood, we understand that the crossover it previews will be offered in a number of drive-trains including a hybrid and an E-V which will be released later on. The mills will include a 1.5 L, turbocharged 3-cylinder engine capable of around 200 horses. Another engine will be a turbocharged 4-cylinder unit which will produce over 300 horses. Although a diesel engine will be offered elsewhere in the world, such engines won’t be offered in North America.
In a bid to meet its ambitious target of selling 1 million plug-ins by 2025, Volvo will offer a hybrid drive-train dubbed the Twin Engine T5. The system will feature a turbocharged 1.5 L, inline –three engines which will combine with 74-hp electric motor resulting in around 250 hp total output. The motor will be backed by a 9.7 kWh lithium-ion battery which will be mounted longitudinally in the central tunnel to save trunk space. A second rear-mounted electric motor will be optional for those looking for the all-wheel drive. This combination will be paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission system.
Price, release date and competition
Being a concept, the automaker did not announce the model’s price or release date. However, rumor has it that the model will be released sometimes in 2017 as 2018 model vehicle.
When it comes out, we expect the model to be priced cheaper than its rivals in a bid to sell more units of the model. Its rivals will include the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The fully electric version of the crossover will make its debut a year later in 2018 as a 2019 model vehicle.
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