The last time we saw spyshots of the Volvo XC40, they were of low resolution and very grainy, limiting the amount of detail. This time, our European spies have returned with much clearer images that give us a better look at Gothenburg’s upcoming compact SUV.
From the looks of it, the XC40 stays relatively faithful to the 40.1 concept shown last year, with trapezoidal headlights carrying Volvo’s signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights. The front grille also has a reverse rake similar to the show car, giving it a unique look that’s distinct from its larger 90 Series models (XC90, S90 and V90) and the new XC60. The clamshell bonnet has also been retained.
Meanwhile, the 40.1’s slim side cameras, flush-fitting front door handles and “hidden” rear handles have been replaced by larger door mirrors and more conventional door handles. The tall tail lights are reminiscent of the XC90 and V90, but have a more angular design.
Set to debut at the 2017 Auto Shanghai next month, the XC40 will be the first car built on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), developed in conjunction with parent company Geely. Engine choices will include Volvo’s existing Drive-E 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel mills, along with a new 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine.
The latter will also be paired with an electric motor in the T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid model, with a total system output of around 250 PS and 400 Nm. A fully-electric version is set to follow in 2020 at the earliest, with an expected range of 350 km.
Volvo’s smallest XC model isn’t reaching the market until 2018, according to former R&D boss Peter Mertens; when it does, however, it’s expected to significantly boost the Swedish automaker’s sales volume, which is reliant on SUV sales. Set to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1, the XC40 is expected to retail at a starting price of €30,000 (RM143,200).