Volvo completes global SUV lineup
The introduction of Volvo’s compact premium XC40 SUV completes its line up of SUVs, and for the first time, Volvo has three new globally available SUV models in the market.
Being the fastest growing segment of the automotive market, Volvo is betting that the demand for SUVs will further fuel its growth and profitability, said David Ibison, Volvo’s SVP for Corporate Communications.
The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 series, including hybrid and even fully electrified vehicles.
The CMA platform, similar to the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) used by Volvo for its bigger SUV XC90 and XC60, provides its cars with the necessary economies of scale for this particular segment.
All these platforms were developed when parent firm Geely infused $11 billion into the company when it bought Volvo from the Ford Group.
With SPA, Volvo aims to introduce significant improvements when it comes to offering protection in worst-case scenarios and when creating innovative features that support the driver in avoiding accidents.
“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive.
“It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo lineup,” he added.
Samuelsson was present at the public unveil of the XC40 at the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Hong Kong.
The Volvo Ocean Race is dubbed as the ultimate sea race adventure, and is considered the pinnacle of ocean racing.
The Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong leg started Jan. 17, and ended on the 31st. Attending the Volvo Ocean Race were executives of Volvo Philippines including Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, president and CEO, and Christopher David Lee Yu, Marketing head, as well as some members of the motoring media.
The Volvo XC40 is designed to be appealing to the growing millennial market, and it is not just a scaled-down version of the SPA platform.
In terms of technology, the XC40 brings the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies of the new 90 and 60 series cars to the small SUV segment.
Like its larger siblings, the XC40 highlights the transformational effect of these new, inhouse-developed technologies, but also embodies the design attributes and sensibilities of Scandinavian design of functionality and minimalism.
On the outside, its clam-shaped head and vertical flat nose give its front a muscular, albeit sensual, appeal. The concave design along the door panels adds to the muscular appeal of the car.
Just like its bigger siblings, the Thor’s Hammer headlamps greet the oncoming traffic although Volvo took the opportunity to redesign the headlamps to make it more updated.
Its rear stance is wider by about 25 mm to make it more powerful.
What’s also interesting about the new XC40 is that it has 11 wheel designs to choose from, ranging from 17 inches to 21 inches in diameter.
In keeping with the times and changing disruptive market forces, which Volvo sees as key factors in how they will design their cars in the future, Volvo has packed its latest plethora of new technologies that make it one of the best-equipped compact premium SUVs on the market.
The XC40 carries a whole range of safety and driver assistance features including Volvo Cars’ pilot assist system, city safety, run-off road protection and mitigation, cross traffic alert with brake support, and the 360-degree camera that helps drivers maneuver their car into tight parking spaces.
Inside, the XC40 has two digital displays, including the largest digital cockpit display in the segment and a tablet-like display layout similar to bigger Volvo vehicles.
What is more interesting is Volvo’s radically new approach to storage inside the car.
Ingenious interior design provides XC40 drivers with, among other things, more functional storage space on the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones, including inductive charging, a foldout hook for small bags, and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.
It has various pockets and storage solutions and even wireless phone charging for the iPhone 8 (and higher versions), as well as newer Android-based phones.
While there are no final details on which variant will be introduced to the local market, the XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder drive-E powertrain.
Further powertrain options, including hybrid and pure electric, will be added later.
The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo Cars’ new 3-cylinder engine.
The new XC40 is assembled in Volvo Cars’ plant in Ghent, Belgium, which started production last November.
Another innovative feature Volvo recently introduced is the Care by Volvo subscription package, although currently available for customers in some markets only.
Volvo Cars said that it plans reinvent the traditional model of car ownership with its new Care by Volvo subscription service. Care by Volvo, first available on the XC40 from launch, makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a phone.
With a monthly flat-fee subscription, it makes down payments, price negotiations and local price differences a thing of the past.
Depending on regional availability, Care by Volvo will also include access to a range of digital concierge services such as fuelling, cleaning, service pickup, and e-commerce delivery.
The XC40 with Care by Volvo is available online in selected markets. For some markets, new XC40 drivers will also be the first Volvo customers who can share their car with friends and family via Volvo on Call with a new digital key technology.