We're fans of the Volvo S40, as it's one of two ways to experience Ford's C1 chassis in the U.S. (the other being the Mazda3). Currently the S40 slots neatly at the bottom of Volvo's lineup, but word is that the next generation will grow substantially and replace both the current S40 and the S60 in Volvo's lineup. German site Autozeitung has whipped up this batch of renderings that preview what the next S40 may look like based on Volvo's current design language and cues previewed on the XC60 SUV concept. The rendering shows the S40 as about the size of an Audi A4 or BMW 3-Series, which means that Volvo may jettison the C1 chassis in favor of Ford's European C/D class platform, also known as the EUCD. Currently the EUCD underpins the Volvo S80, as well as a few European Ford people movers and the Land Rover LR2. It is also the underpinning for Bond's favorite rental car, the new Ford Mondeo. Regardless of whether the next-gen S40 replaces the aging S60, the prospect of Volvo producing a true 3-Series competitor is good news.

[Source: Autozeitung, Carscoop]