After a spate of Snapchat teasers, Volvo has finally unveiled two concept cars that are aimed squarely at the younger crowd, the Volvo 40.1 and 40.2. The SUV and notchback show cars will preview Gothenburg’s upcoming range of small 40 series models, with the first production model expected to go on sale next year – could they be called the Volvo XC40 and S40 respectively?

Both cars are built on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a smaller version of the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) underpinning the 90 series (XC90, S90 and V90) models. The new platform will form the lower end of a two-pronged strategy to eliminate Gothenburg’s dependence on Ford underpinnings – in this instance, the Focus‘ Global C platform, used on the current V40.

Both cars eschew the soft, calm aesthetic of their larger siblings for a sharper, almost brutalist look that is reminiscent of newer Skoda models. Of the two, the 40.2 sedan has a more extroverted, futuristic design, with abstract versions of the company’s signature “Thor Hammer” headlights flanking the large grille and a distinctive bone-shaped front air intake low down.

Along the sides, the windscreen wraps around the A-pillars, while a deep bodyside cut in the doors and large wheel arches provide visual drama. This is enhanced by the short rear deck, massive wheels and a high ground clearance that almost makes the 40.2 look like a crossover sedan – S60 Cross Country, anyone? A scalloped rear section with C-shaped tail lights and a large rear hatch completes the look.

It’s the 40.1 SUV that has a more production-friendly look – the reverse-rake front end is more conventional, with trapezoidal headlights, triple air inlets in the bumper and a clamshell bonnet. The body side surfacing is also more toned-down, as is the rear end with V90-like tall tail lights. The two-tone colour scheme with a matte black roof does look quite funky, however.

The small car range is expected to include a pure electric vehicle as well as Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variants. The latter should include the new T5 Twin Engine powertrain that combines a 180 hp 1.5 litre turbo petrol three-pot and a 55 kW electric motor, delivering a total system output of 250 PS and nearly 400 Nm of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A range of Drive-E 2.0 litre four-cylinder and 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines should also feature.

“The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment,” said president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson. “An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.”