Saturday 3 December 2016

These are the shapes of things to come from Volvo

Published 19/05/2016 | 11:34

Volvo Concept 40.1 profile
Volvo Concept 40.1 profile
Volvo Concept 40.2 profile
Volvo Concept 40.2 rear quarter high
Volvo Concept 40.1 rear quarter high

Two new concept cars are being unveiled which herald the look of the next Volvo V40 hatchback and the XC40 Crossover/SUV.

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Built on a new CMA platform which will be the basis of their smaller cars from now on, the Concept 40.1 and 40.2 will have petrol and diesel powertrains as well as plug-in hybrids and all- electric.

Volvo Concept 40.2 profile
Volvo Concept 40.2 profile

The first cars are expected to go into production at the end of 2017, Volvo say but it may be some time after that before we see them on the Irish market.

They are seen as significant indicators of where the company is going with its smaller cars.

The company already has a different platform, called SPA, for their larger cars such the highly popular XC90 SUV and the newly launched S90 and V90 saloon and estate.
That platform will also provide the basis for the next XC60 SUV and S60 saloon and V60 estate.

As well as the new CMA platform catering for the V40/XC40 it will also be the basis for others up to the ‘60’ range – and those smaller than the ‘40’ series.

Volvo Concept 40.2 rear quarter high
Volvo Concept 40.2 rear quarter high

Dr Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice president for research and development says their decision to take a modular approach to “both car architecture and powertrain development” means they have “leap-frogged” many rivals in the premium segment.

That, of course, will be contested by the competitors but the latest advance certainly shows how far Volvo have come in a relatively short time.

The company will, by 2019, roll out a new electric vehicle based on the larger SPA platform. This will be followed by one based on the CMA platform. The carmaker is also showing a front-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid T5 Twin Engine. This is interesting as it uses a 3cyl engine and 7spd twin-clutch automatic coupled to an electric motor. It is expected to make its first appearance in a CMA-based car.

It is also safe to predict that the new ‘40 series’ will have elements such as semi-autonomous driving Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise control, cyclist detection, City Safety, pedestrian detection etc as standard.

Volvo Concept 40.1 rear quarter high
Volvo Concept 40.1 rear quarter high

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