Having stated they have ambitions to sell up to 1 million electrified cars by 2015, this 40 Series is an important part of that plan.
The 40 series will be the first built by Volvo on its new “Compact Modular Architecture” (CMA) which is a whole new platform for the vehicle – common for a platform to be relaunched, but the critical thing here is the platform is versatile enough to include both a plug-in-hybrid variant and a fully electric vehicle.
In terms of exterior design, both cars have a crossover vibe, with the 40.1 getting a familiar SUV profile similar to that of a shrunken XC90. At the front, it has the ‘Thor’s Hammer headlights’ and bold grille, while to the side it does without a conventional rear door handle. Overall it’s a sleek, sporty, crossover look, especially with the contrasting black roof.
“The architecture is as modular as SPA,” he said us, ”we have a very successful blueprint for how to do it and that has been flowed into CMA. You could almost say it’s the little brother of SPA when it comes to flexibility and modularity.”
That means that CMA will allow for both front- and all-wheel drive variants, with Mertens admitting that it will allow Geely to use cheaper components while still allowing Volvo to make versions that will be able to compete in the premium segment. He said that it could even offer a version with an electrically powered rear axle, similar to that of the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, although that would come later.