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Volvo has unveiled its XC40 at an overnight event in Milan, Italy, with the carmaker's first-ever compact premium SUV to arrive in Australian showrooms during the second quarter of next year.
Slotting below Volvo's mid-size XC60 and large XC90 SUVs, the new model will go toe-to-toe with the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus NX, Mini Countryman, Range Rover Evoque and the upcoming Jaguar E-Pace.
The XC40 is underpinned by the Swedish brand's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which will also be employed by other forthcoming 40 Series models – including the anticipated S40 sedan and next-generation V40 hatch.
According to a Volvo Car Australia spokesperson, the SUV will be offered with the choice of two 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines from launch, either a 184kW T5 petrol or 142kW D4 diesel.
More details on these powerplants will be revealed at a later date, but both will be exclusively matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
Overseas markets will eventually have access to 116kW T3 front-wheel drive (FWD) and 142kW T4 AWD petrol units, as well as an 112kW D3 FWD/AWD diesel.
Volvo says hybrid, pure electric and three-cylinder powertrain options will be added to the XC40 line-up in the future, but Aussie timing and specifics remain a mystery for now.
While it is unclear what local specifications will be, equipment lists are sure to be long if the UK-spec model is anything to go by.
In the United Kingdom, the XC40 will be available across three grades – Momentum, R-Design and Inscription – for each of the engine options, while corresponding Pro variants add even more kit.
The entry-level Momentum grade includes a 9.0-inch 'Sensus' touchscreen multimedia system, voice control, satellite navigation with live traffic updates, three USB ports, 'Volvo On Call' smartphone app and emergency services, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Safety and driver assistance features extend to rear parking sensors, AEB, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane keep assist with oncoming mitigation.
R-Design variants have a sporting intent, with a sports suspension, gloss-black front grille and front/rear bumpers, black roof and side mirrors, integrated dual exhaust pipes, leather/nubuck upholstery, front seat thigh extenders and aluminium dashboard inlays.
Alternatively, luxury-focused Inscription versions include leather upholstery, powered tailgate, front parking sensors, driftwood interior inlays and chrome exterior highlights.
The Pro derivative of the Momentum adds a powered driver's seat, heated front seats and windscreen, dynamic headlights, and high-beam assist.
Meanwhile, the R-Design Pro also picks up 20-inch alloys, and the Inscription Pro gains 19-inch wheels and a powered passenger seat.
The options list consists of a 'Xenium' package – panoramic glass sunroof, 360-degree cameras and park assist – as well as a Pilot Assist semi-autonomous mode, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay support, wireless smartphone charging and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
As a guide, UK pricing for the relevant Aussie variants ranges from £34,655 ($A59,444, D4 R-Design) to £37,905 ($A65,019, T5 Inscription Pro).