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.
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.