The crossover will be the first to be launched from the 40 series.
Volvo believes its future third member of the XC lineup, the XC40, will be a landmark for the company, as it wants to sell significantly more SUVs by 2020. Peter Mertens, the brand’s research and development boss, revealed to Autocar the Swedish manufacturer expects to sell nearly 100,000 units annually of its smallest crossover, when it arrives on the market in the first half of 2018.
In 2015 Volvo delivered 503,127 cars globally with around 267,000 of them being XC and Cross Country models or, in other words, SUVs and crossovers. This means more than 50 percent of the automaker's sales already belong to those two segments – and that number is about to grow in the next years.
The best-seller for the company currently is the ageing XC60, which has been on the market for around eight years. In the first six months of this year, the flagship XC90 has also registered a healthy increase in sales with 51,810 cars delivered, pointing to 12-month sales of more than 100,000 units.
Given the importance of SUV models for the brand, the XC40, previewed by the 40.1 concept, will be the first to be revealed from the 40 series, which will also include a hatchback and a station wagon. The cars will be based on the company’s new CMA modular platform, which is smaller than the SPA architecture used in the XC90, S90, and V90.
A selection of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be offered to customers, as well as an all-new three-cylinder unit. We won’t be too surprised if the crossover also receives a hybrid variant later during its life, as Volvo believes hybrids will replace diesels all over the world.
Mixing attractive design, as envisioned by our exclusive rendering earlier this year, with efficient engines and high-quality interior, the new XC40 is expected to be a real game-changer in China, so a local production is already considered through Volvo’s Chinese owner Geely. For Europe, the model will be assembled at Volvo’s Ghent factory.
Note: Volvo 40.1 and 40.2 concepts pictured.