Originally thought to be named XC40, the new Volvo is a taller standing and more rugged looking version of the brand’s V40 compact hatchback, designed more or less around the same philosophy as the larger XC70.
The halfway crossover model from Volvo gets some chunky black cladding around the redesigned front and rear bumpers that also feature silver colored protective plates, and side sills, along with silver roof rails, newly styled alloy wheels and a 40mm taller ride height than the regular V40.
The only changes made inside the car have to do with the more vibrant color selections for the upholstery and center console trim.
According to Greek car magazine 4Troxoi, the V40 Cross Country, will be available with all the diesel and petrol engines offered in the standard V40 except the base 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder “T3” petrol unit with 148HP (150PS).
The publication says the only engine that can be combined with all-wheel drive is the range-topping 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five “T5” that churns out 251hp (254PS), with the rest of the engines offered exclusively with front-wheel drive.
The R-Design looks a tad more aggressive than the regular V40s thanks to a rear diffuser in a silk-metal finish that also features on the high-gloss grille, and the new five-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels in 17- or 18-inch diameters.Volvo’s designers added sport seats in a blend of black Nubuck textile and perforated leather with a full leather treatment available as an option, specially designed steering wheel, gear shifter, handbrake and sport pedals, new aluminium inlays with a perforated look, and a black headliner.
In addition, on the R-Design models, the V40’s interactive dashboard modes are all lighted up in the same radiant blue hue.
The R-Design trim can be had with all engines available for the V40, ranging from the D2 diesel with 113HP (115PS) and CO2 emissions at 94 g/km (3.6 lt/100 km) to the high-performance T5 petrol turbo with 251HP (254PS), while as with the regular model, buyers can choose between standard and the optional ‘Sport’ chassis.
Developed as part of the Swedish automaker’s somewhat unrealistic goal that “no-one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020”, the V40’s pedestrian air-bag promises to significantly reduce the risks of head injuries.
"We are proud to be able to offer a car with an airbag for pedestrians," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Technical Advisor Safety at Volvo Car Corporation. "The purpose of the airbag is to help protect pedestrians in certain situations when they impact the bonnet and the area around the windscreen wiper recess and A-pillar, where there may be a risk of serious head injuries."
Volvo says that in Europe, 14 percent of traffic fatalities are pedestrians, while in the U.S.A., the figure is 12 percent and in China, 25 percent.
The Swedish automaker’s system comprises of seven sensors embedded in the front end of the car that transmit signals to a control unit which evaluates them and when necessary, raises the rear end of the bonnet by 100mm (about 4 inches) through the use of pyrotechnic release mechanisms and deploys an air-bag, thus creating a dampening effect when it is hit by a pedestrian.
"The airbag has two functions," explains Broberg. "Firstly, it raises the bonnet to create distance, and secondly it cushions the impact around the hard parts of the area near the windscreen."
Volvo says the system is active at speeds between 20km/h and 50 km/h (12mph and 31mph).
“The all-new V40 is the first new model that is fully developed according to our human-centric, Designed Around You strategy”, said Volvo CEO Stephan Jacoby.
Jacoby added that the new model will “definitely give our toughest competitors a headache”. By which he means the BMW 1-Series and the upcoming Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
As we’ve already revealed, the 4.37 m long five-door hatchback will be available exclusively with turbocharged power plants. The gasoline units are a 1.6-liter in two versions, with 150 and 180 PS bearing the T3 and T4 monikers respectively, and the range-topping 254 PS 2.5-liter five-pot.
The diesel range comprises the D2 115PS 1.6-liter that emits just 94 g/km of CO2, and two versions of the 2.0-liter five-cylinder, the 150PS D3 and the 177PS D4.
Volvo will commence production of the new V40 at its Ghent plant in Belgium in March. The annual sales target it has set is 90,000 units, with 85 percent of them earmarked for the European market.