volvo concept 40.1 s40 front
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 s40 rear
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.2 s40 side
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.2 grille
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 s40 roof
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.2 fog light
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.2 taillight
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1
  • Image Credit: Volvo
Before presenting Volvo's two new compact car concepts, design VP Thomas Ingenlath showed us two sets of shoes. One described the old approach to design: fancy black shoes in three different sizes, with uniform style across all three. The other represents the new Volvo: shiny shoes for the big expensive cars, a suede pair in brown for the 60 series, and some bold white-and-black wingtips for the youth-oriented 40 series. The Swedish brand is taking a chance and abandoning the same-sausage, different-length school of design.

And it's a chance we're happy to see an automaker take. The two concepts don't have imaginative names – the 40.1 is a crossover and the 40.2 is a hatch-sedan – but they have striking design, and it's markedly different from the elegant shapes Volvo already rolled out for its 90-series cars. These small concepts give a preview of cars that will be built off of the brand's new CMA platform, which will go into production next year.

volvo concept 40.1 xc40
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 rear
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 xc40 roof
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 fog light
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 side mirror
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo concept 40.1 xc40 tailgate
  • Image Credit: Volvo


CMA is likewise not just a scaled-down version of the SPA architecture that underpins the new S90 and XC90. It takes lessons from the big cars and adds and removes where necessary to create a more city-livable car. CMA will support conventional gas (and diesel, but probably not in the US) powertrains, as well as a battery-electric powertrain with about 215 miles of range, and a new hybrid. The hybrid is called T5 Twin Engine and uses a three-cylinder engine paired with a hybridized seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Electric energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery located along the car's central spine.

We really like what we see in these two concepts. There is new design to get excited about and familiar touches that ground them in Volvo history. Thor's hammer is rendered in the headlights and the grilles both feature prominent iron-mark logos. While the crossover is handsome and sorely needed in the lineup, the hatchback sedan is particularly interesting, with its thick triangular C-pillar and almost Saab-esque greenhouse. The indented door trim is also a neat touch and more complex the closer you look. This body style looks like something that would easily carry a Cross Country badge. We expect Volvo to round out the 40 series with sedan, hatch, and crossover models.

We'll have more from the unveiling of the CMA compact concepts in Sweden later today.

volvo cma platform comparison spa
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo cma platform hybrid chassis
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo cma platform ev bev chassis
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo cma 4 cylinder chassis top
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo hybrid cma platform layour
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo battery compact layout
  • Image Credit: Volvo
volvo cma
  • Image Credit: Volvo



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