From the front, it looks like a high-riding sedan but from the rear it looks like a hot hatchback, some say it even looks like a wagon, well I guess we won’t know until Volvo releases the production model. If you are in the dark, I am talking about the Volvo 40.2 Concept. The model is based on a new platform dubbed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). This architecture is more cost-efficient and can be scaled to accommodate different wheelbases, lengths as well as different power-trains. The platform is part of Volvo’s strategy to sell around 1 million hybrid cars by 2025.
The Volvo 40.2 Concept together with the 40.1 Concept which were showcased to the public together have adopted the same design language as the Volvo XC90 and the yet to be released S90 sedan and V90 wagon. The 40.1 Concept previews a compact crossover which we have reviewed separately:
Volvo 40.2 Concept Exterior
Generally, the concept looks like a high-riding sedan with the body style of the S60 Cross Country. Overall, the vehicle features a tall stance which means rear passengers will enjoy extra headroom as well as additional cargo space. The tall stance also makes it more compatible with electric power-trains.
At the front, the 40.2 Concept features a beveled grille flanked by LED headlights with Thor’s hammer LED DRLs. Its A-pillars are blacked out. There are deep geometric scallops on its lower doors. The sides also features ultra-thin side mirrors and Thor’s hammer door handles. The rear on the other had features C-shaped taillights and the unique tailgate.
All features make the 40.2 Concept look like a sedan except for its rear. While regular sedans feature trunk lids, Volvo has used a lift-gate making its rear look like a hatchback which the automaker calls a “notchback”. The model looks more edgy than other Volvo models and though it looks production ready, I believe a host of features will be toned down for production purposes.
Volvo also revealed that the new design emphasizes on wheel size to body proportion as opposed to dash to axle like the SPA-based models.
Volvo 40.2 Concept Interior
Volvo has not disclosed how the interior will be like. However, we expect the interior to adopt the latest cues from the XC90 and the upcoming S90 sedan. Since it targets other luxury brands, the automaker must make the cabin luxurious, convenient and comfortable.
Due to the automaker’s emphasis on safety, the small car will be hooked up with the latest semi-autonomous technologies adopted from the bigger models. As such, expect to find adaptive cruise control, parking assist, driver alertness warning, lane keep assist, lane change warning among others. The models are also likely to feature the “On Call” mobile app which enables drivers to unlock and start the car via their Smartphones. The app also allows one to send the “keys” of the Volvo to family members or pals so they can drive the vehicle
Engine Specs and performance
As said earlier, hybrid and full-EV will be central to the new platform. Though the automaker has not revealed the lineup of drive-trains for the 40.2 Concept, we understand that a hybrid and a full EV will be offered. This drive-train is referred to as the T5 Twin Engine.
The drive-train combines a turbocharged 1.5 L, 3-cylinder engine that produces around 180 hp and an electric motor which adds 55 kW and a combined 250 hp. The hybrid will use a 9.7 kWh lithium-ion battery to store extra juice. The system uses a hybridized dual-clutch transmission that is different from the T8 Twin Engine that powers the bigger Volvos like the XC90.
A fully electric drive-train will be offered on a later date. This drive-train is expected to have a range of over 215 miles but could be even more as the platform can accommodate a battery with a bigger range. At this range, the sedan will beat the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 in their own game.
There will be a number of conventional engines including a turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine and diesel engines. However, diesel engines won’t be offered in the US. After the Volkswagen diesel scandal, automakers are a bit hesitant to offer diesel engines in this market. The 4-cylinder petrol engine is expected to produce over 300 hp. The turbocharged 1.5 L engine will also be offered as a standalone drive-train capable of producing around 200 hp.
Price and release date
It is not clear when a production model of the 40.2 Concept will hit the market. Considering the models look almost ready for production, I believe Volvo will release them early in 2017.
However, it is not clear whether the model will be a sedan, hatchback or both. According to the Volvos’ naming strategy, the model will adopt the S40 nametag if it will be a sedan and V40 in case it is a hatchback.
When it makes a market debut, the production version of the 40.2 Concept will give the Mercedes CLA, upcoming BMW1 Series sedan and Audi A3 sedan a run for their money.