Volvo has confirmed the launch of an all-new small-size 40-series model, which will come months after the fourth quarter Australian debut of its second-generation XC60 mid-size SUV.
These vehicles are part of the Swedish car-maker’s ambitious new-product rollout that will see every offering in its line-up replaced by the turn of the decade, as well as the addition of first-time model lines.
This plan was kicked off two years ago by the seven-seat XC90 SUV, which introduced the company's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Three models have since been spun off this platform, including the forthcoming XC60, S90 large sedan and V90 Cross Country off-road wagon – which quietly went on-sale locally two months ago.
First launched in 2010, the S60/V60 mid–size sedan and wagon twins are seemingly next in line to adopt the SPA underpinnings and be superseded, but the new compact 40-series vehicles appear to have leapfrogged them to get a release first.
Volvo Australia PR boss Greg Bosnich revealed that the first of the new models – which will replace the current V40 and V40 Cross Country hatchbacks – will lob as early as the first quarter of 2018.
“The first new 40-series car is expected to go into production in 2017 and, depending on exact timing, we will see the first 40-series vehicle in Australia some six months later,” he said.
When Volvo unveiled the Concept 40.1 and 40.2 in May last year, the company provided a glimpse into the design direction of its future compact offerings.
The 40-series range is likely to also include an XC40 crossover and S40 sedan, as hinted at by the concept cars.
Unlike the aforementioned mid-size and large Volvo models, the 40-series will instead be manufactured on the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) – which will be shared with vehicles from Volvo's Chinese parent company Geely.
Meanwhile, the large V90 wagon appears increasingly unlikely to join the line-up Down Under, despite its high-riding V90 Cross Country sibling going on sale recently.
Mr Bosnich was coy about its prospects when questioned, but suggested the Cross Country would be the more popular grade if the V90 were to be sold here.
“Volvo has a strong heritage with both the wagon and the Cross Country variant, so depending on the timing of the V90 introduction, the V90 Cross Country will initially have the greater volume.”
This decision would not be unusual given competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz have both opted against importing non-rugged versions of their A6 and E-Class wagons respectively.
Are you excited to see what Volvo has in store with its next-generation small-size models? Tell us what you think in the comments below.