2017 Volvo XC40, S40 Previewed With New Concepts, With Promise Of Pure EV

Volvo has just shown two new concepts it says are big hints of what its new 40 series small cars will look like when they start to appear in 2017.

The four-door sedan (40.2) and taller crossover (40.1) – likely to be labeled S40 and XC40, respectively – shown Wednesday in Sweden are the strongest hints at the new compact sedan and compact crossover the brand sorely needs to do battle with the biggest premium rivals in all of the crucial global markets.

They’re also the first new vehicle collaboration between the Swedes and Chinese parent company Geely, for its upcoming brand of cars also with global aspirations.

Production versions of these cars will replace the current V40 sold in markets outside North America, though it’s expected a new V40 hatchback/wagon will make it to the U.S. and Canada by the end of the decade.

Volvo says the upcoming 40s will be offered with a new T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, using technology from the S90, V90 and XC90 T8 plug-ins, but coupled now to a new three-cylinder engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automated transmission. Expect that three-cylinder and dual-clutch to go into base versions of the 40s, with the four-cylinder Drive-E engines powering faster models.

But bigger news will be the pure electric-only model – a first for the company as a way to meet California’s EV mandate and part of the plan in, “leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice president of research and development. Volvo says the system being readied for the 40s cars is also destined for the larger 90s cars and replacements for the S60, V60 and XC60 on the Scalable Platform Architecture.

The company says the new Compact Modular Architecture, developed with Geely, “liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions.”

First impressions are that Volvo hasn’t exactly scaled down the look from its large 90 series cars to the smaller body, with the 40s getting a handsome new take on the Thor’s Hammer LED lights up front. The XC40 concept also gets a trendy floating roof to go with its sharper angles. While the S40 doesn’t look exactly like the second coming of the 240, it has the makings of the most handsome small Volvo sedan yet.

None of this is surprising, considering Volvo teased these concepts on Snapchat and made liberal references to younger customers when unveiling the two concepts. The small crossover, in particular, will likely be an important addition in luring Millennials in all markets who are currently aspiring to own something with an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz logo on the front.

The XC40 has been rumored to be the first of the new 40s to go into production, which Volvo confirmed Wednesday would start sometime next year. An S40 and V40 are due in 2018 or 2019.

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  • AstonMartin

    Nice however even more interested in the next generation XC60.

  • Kash

    So long as the XC40 looks like a shrunken XC90 with just slightly tweaked styling bits here and there to better fit the proportions, it’ll sell exceptionally well, especially if it undercuts the Germans in pricing it’ll all be obliterate the GLA and X1. The S40 won’t need much in it’s market because the CLA and A3 aren’t exactly pretty cars tbh. BMW might be able to spice things up when they bring in whatever they’re cooking, but if the S40 looks half as good as the S90 with proper a proportions, like the S90 has, it’ll do way better than the Germans ever could. So far that jacked up 40.2 liftback thing has very nice proportions so I have hope that the Swedes can do this. Let’s face it the A3 is awkward through the greenhouse and the CLA should’ve been more sedan than coupe, more C-class than CLS. The A3 should’ve been more A7 than A4 though, a more sloped roof would’ve made it look so much better and given more flow to the overall styling.

    • Not So Quick

      I doubt the XC40 models will better than the Germans as Volvo, at least in the States, has limited dealerships. Customers want convenience in serving their vehicles—this is where Volvo fails. Plus, Volvo stills has a long way to go in re-establishing the brand.

      • Kash

        Volvo’s shifting focus to more online sales than dealerships to better target their desired audience which is a younger crowd. I also expect with the new S90 & V90 they’ll open more dealerships, then the S40 and XC40 are still a little ways out. Production for the XC40 is only going to start some time next year which will probably be late Q3 or early Q4 of next year before any hit showrooms, and that’s just the XC40. Volvo still hasn’t said anything about S40 production.

  • roy

    both look good but xc40 looks a bit like a renault and s40 looks a tad too cross-overish

    • Kash

      I think they did a S60 cross country style crossover with this “S40”

  • Donald Ducko

    Nice KIAs.

  • R1S0

    looks pretty cheap, like paper cars. i dont like it at all….

  • KF

    Love the concept 40.1…don’t really see so much resemblance to the Renault Capture except for the two tone and the backdoor/line going to the roof.

    • Kash

      I think people were paying more attention to the C-pillar back than anything else on the 40.1 concept. Beyond the paint scheme back there, there’s not a lot of similarities. The paint scheme is hardly similar beyond going up and being white and black and the minute you change the color all that remains is the general shape of the paint scheme.

      • IT’S HARD TO MISS.

        • Kash

          it’s not so much that it’s hard to miss but people fixate one that one thing because they want to draw correlations between this concept and other cars. If anything the Kicks looks far more similar but most people probably didn’t see it because it wasn’t shown in black and white while the Renault was. I’m not saying it’s not similar but it’s a common design aspect. The floating roof trend has taken off The murano features a similar style D-pillar, then again the Kicks, Murano, and Capture are all made by RNA, but then you have the Mini Paceman who features a slightly tweaked version of this where the point comes down from the roof and not up from the body. Kia also did a much more similar design on the Soul, but again it wasn’t in black and white. GM’s new floating roof on the Adam feature a more reversed version of this as well, like the Paceman the roof comes down instead of the body coming up. The Astra uses both, it comes down and goes up.

          The minute you either change the colors from black and white or get rid of the piece that goes up from the body you’ll change what people see when they look at the car.

          • I AGREE THE FLOATING ROOF IS A TREND. THAT’S WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT IT. I’D RATHER SEE DESIGNERS COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL. THERE’S A COMMON ELEMENT USED IN THIS DESIGN AND THAT’S THE “KICK UP” IN THE FENDER. IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TONED DOWN WITH THE CORRECT COLOR COMBINATION. OF COARSE LIKE THE JAG XJ YOU CAN GET IT IN BLACK TO HIDE IT’S FLAWS. SINCE VOLVO DOESN’T FOLLOW THE “ME TOO” PHILOSOPHY IT SUPRISES ME TO SEE THIS USED ON ONE OF THEIR CARS.

          • Kash

            I think the fender thing has more to do with wheel tracks being wider than roofs, except on maybe smaller cars like the one in the top right corner, that one was probably done to match brand styling. I don’t really mind Volvo’s take on this, and this is just a concept, not a direct preview for the new cars.

          • AFTER SEEING THE VOLVO CONCEPT COUPE AND THE S90 CONCEPT WHICH WERE FULLY HASHED OUT I WAS REALLY SURPRISED TO SEE THESE CONCEPTS WHICH DON’T REALLY SEEM TO BE. WE’LL SEE.

  • NOT YET ANOTHER FLOATING ROOF.

  • Tinky-Winky

    I don’t know.. they look a bit cheap and utilitarian, a lot of design clues from other brands. The first cars that came to my mind after seeing XC40 were Suzuki Vitara and SsangYong Tivoli that also try to compensate their shortcomings in design with different color roof.

  • fabri99

    I love where Volvo is heading. They are becoming a frightening contender to the germans and, design-wise, they are far ahead.

    • Six Thousand Times

      I must disagree. That “sedan” looks terrible. Give me anything German over it.

      • fabri99

        I had the same feeling, but I think it’s just because of its road height.

        • Alx

          I agree. The toned down production version in higher spec should look great!

  • haudit

    The 40.1 concept is simple, clean and well-resolved, and makes Audi’s Q2 look embarrassingly overwrought by comparison. The 40.2 is less appealing, and reminds me a little of one of the Borgward concepts from the Geneva show.

  • Six Thousand Times

    They’re really starting to look Chinese, now, aren’t they?

    • Alx

      Really not. My observation is that Volvo is employing contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic (to its resounding acclaim) whilst the Chinese are copying the Germans.

      • Six Thousand Times

        While mine is that they look as modern Scandinavian as dim sum.

        • Alx

          Haha fair enough mate!

    • Murgatroyd

      In a word, no.

      • Six Thousand Times

        Though you are quite the wordsmith, I disagree with you. I definitely see the influence of the parent company.

  • Really nice looking, I wonder what the all electric specs (like range) will be?

    • KF

      About 220 miles (350 km) for pure EV – 50-60 km for the plug-in-hybrid

  • alexxx

    volvo is lately making some truly truly amazing cars…so simple yet so beautiful and bold designs…interiors also…finally some company chalenging germans…

  • MarketAndChurch

    I love the V40 sedan, as an alternative to the Subaru XV. But I don’t like it as a sedan alternative to the 2-series or A3. Hopefully the actual production model will look much better than this.

    Still can’t believe we won’t be getting the current V40 on sale in Europe, which was such a gorgeous hatch. But this is really a nice Scandinavian take on both German and French designs and I can’t wait to see this here in the US.

  • Yalchin

    That’s a LOT of C pillar going on, though i like both of them. The crossover needs to be seen without a contrasting roof, i think the contrast line makes it look very ‘side heavy’. That’s a LOT of C pillar going on, though i like both of them. The crossover needs to be seen without a contrasting roof, i think the contrast line makes it look very ‘side heavy’. As for the hatch, i get a very 80s Saab900 vibe from the windshield frame and b pillars; an homage almost. Good work!

  • Galaxium

    Gives me Range Rover Evoque feelings

  • RDS Alphard

    I just notice 40.2 is 5-doors , not 4-doors .

  • RDS Alphard

    Another thing , CMA only have FWD , no AWD ?

  • Nordschleife

    The greenhouse of the sedan is giving me Scion TC and the XC40’s greenhouse is giving me Toyota. I still can’t get enough of these Thor’s hammer LED’s.

  • getoffme

    And still no XC60…

  • Looks very Asian

    • Murgatroyd

      Not to my eyes.

  • Fred G. Sanford

    Hopefully Volvo does not perpetuate the hideous looking tail section of the S90 in the new S40 and S60. They should do away with it in the S90 as well. It makes an otherwise beautiful car, unattractive.

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