Volvo published a batch of design sketches to preview the battery-powered XC40 it's nearly ready to introduce. The drawings confirm stylists made evolutionary tweaks, not revolutionary updates, to turn the firm's stylish entry-level crossover into its first series-produced electric car.
Electric cars don't need as much cooling air as piston-powered models, so a body-colored insert replaces the XC40's grille. The panel also integrates the hardware that powers the car's comprehensive suite of electronic driving aids. The rear end gets a redesigned bumper without grooves for the exhaust tips, but the XC40's basic design carries over unchanged.
Buyers will have eight exterior colors to choose from, including a new hue named Sage Green, and every battery-powered XC40 will come standard with a black roof. Volvo designed 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels specifically for the model. They'll help set it apart from its gasoline-powered sibling.
While the sketches don't show the interior, the firm noted the changes are largely limited to a redesigned driver interface that provides vital information about the drivetrain. The floor mats are made with recycled materials, but the rest of the cabin is standard XC40 fare.
Engineers developed the modular CMA platform the XC40 is built on with electrification in mind from the get-go, so the battery-powered model offers the same amount of interior space as its gasoline-powered sibling. It gives motorists more trunk space, because there's now a small storage compartment under the hood. It's better suited to a charging cord than to suitcases, though.
Volvo will fully unveil the electric XC40 online on Oct. 16. The crossover will go on sale shortly after, but its arrival on the American market hasn't been confirmed yet.