2015-volvo-xc40-test-spy-test-mule-5 copy

Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo’s head honcho has revealed that a small SUV is a likely segment in which the Swedish automaker wants to delve into, Autocar reports. “Highest on my list is a small SUV, because that’s where the market is going,” Samuelsson said. The Volvo XC40 will be the first to spearhead the said range.

“We want to build a broader range of ‘40’ cars,” he said. “Today we only have the hatchback, but we want more, and with the new technology that we’re working on, we will have the means to expand the line-up,” he added. He further hinted that small hybrids may soon make way onto most of Volvo’s cars in the future.

The company’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) will reportedly allow Geely, Volvo’s parent firm to develop more upmarket vehicles. At the same time the models will be more profitable and allow for a broader range of the company’s 40-series models.

CMA platform side view with text

It’s said that the CMA will be engineered towards comfort rather than handling, and it can accommodate hybrid powertrains. Volvo insiders assert that the Swedish company has brought about “strong solutions” by coupling a small electric motor with the transmission. Diesels might not be an option here, due to the “costly technologies that are required to make them comply,” according to Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of R&D.

That said, a likely choice for the 40-series range could be a small electric and petrol duo – the new turbocharged 1.5 litre three-pot engine might be a possible candidate here. Samuelsson said, “I think in the future, and independently of ‘dieselgate’, we will see some more petrol sales, and of course, more electrification, the mix of a small petrol engine and an electric motor.”

Moreover, the expansion of the 40-series range will allow the Swedish brand to develop its three production sites around the world. The XC40, along with the V40 and S40 are to be produced in Ghent, Belgium, while the XC90 and S90 are produced in Gothenburg, Sweden. The XC60 and S60 production, meanwhile, is based in South Carolina, US.

GALLERY: Volvo XC40 compact SUV test mule spyshots