This is the all new Volvo V40, a premium hatchback alternative to cars like the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3 Sportback. To debut in Geneva, the V40 marks a start of a new generation, replacing the one that gave us the current S40 and V50. The new car sits on the Ford Focus platform, although EPS and suspension settings are unique.
The leaked video and images show a body that’s not quite a wagon, but more like a long hatchback. The design is unmistakably Volvo, following the styling direction of the new S60 and V60. The vertical tail lamps highlighting the shoulders, the wavy beltline, they’re all there.
But unlike the V50 and V60, the rear number plate is on the bumper here, not on the hatch, which now has a black panel housing the Volvo name.
Inside, it’s what we’ve seen from Volvo over the years (a good thing) but with a flashy new instrument cluster. The tacho is king, and a digital speedo resides within it. The auto gear knob now has the legend printed on it.
Reports mention six engine choices divided evenly between petrol and diesel. The flagship will be a 254 bhp turbocharged five-cylinder engine, expected to power the V40 to 96 km/h (60 mph) in 6.5 seconds. This is a Volvo the GTI boys don’t want to drag with! Some form of electrification will replace the fifth cylinder in some point.
Lower down, the petrols are four-cylinder turbos with 150 hp and 180 hp, while the economy king of the range is a 115 hp 1.6-litre diesel. As expected, all versions have stop-start systems and brake energy regeneration. Volvo’s City Safety system, which prevents accidents by auto braking, now works up to 50 km/h.
But the safety headlines are reserved for a new pedestrian airbag that pops the bonnet and transforms the base of the screen into a large cushion. Apparently, the driver will still see the road since the victim sinks into his V40′s hood! We’ll need a video to better see how this works.