Volvo unveils the 40.1 and 40.2 concepts. Aka XC40 and S40

Check pretty well the images of these 2 cars and tell us: what do you see? We are sure you are going to say “a crossover and a sedan” by the shape of their bodies. But many have considered the 40.2 Concept presented today by Volvo as a glimpse of the second generation V40. It is a 5-door car, for sure, but it is also a 3-box vehicle, such as the Citroën C5. And we think it will be a notchback, or even a full sedan, when its production version hits the dealers. And that it will be named S40 in the future. But the most important car between these concepts is indeed the preview of the XC40, accordingly named 40.1 Concept. Volvo expects its production version to be its best-seller in the future.

Volvo Concept 40.1 front seven-eights

Volvo Concept 40.1 rear three-quarters Volvo Concept 40.1 rear quarter high

There is very little technical information on the car, but, as a concept, it is aimed at presenting ideas, not at handing the competitors valuable imput on the car. The first idea is that Volvo will have a compact crossover to face the likes of Audi Q2, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. And Volvo’s C-segment crossover may be way more convincing than the other three in what relates to style. The second idea is that of a new modular platform, the CMA. We would better let Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president for design at Volvo, talk about it.

As you could see, he keeps his comments about the design possibilities CMA offers, such as a low and a high car, even if the 40.2, or S40, in our opinion, seems to be quite a tall sedan.

CMA Battery Electric Vehicle Technical Concept Study - 3/4 view CMA Battery Electric Vehicle Technical Concept Study - Top view

We have already spoken extensively about the new platform, but it promises to be a turning point for Volvo. It cuts the final link of the company to Ford, ditching its former owner’s platforms for good. And it also makes Volvo consolidate its love for modular architectures. The SPA is destined to bigger cars, such as the future S60 up to the XC90, while the CMA will allow Volvo and Geely to have C-segment cars at a much lower cost of production. And the CMA can have a fully electric car from the start, as the images above present. There is one also reserved for the SPA, but only for 2019. Meanwhile, the CMA will also have presented another first: the Drive-E 3-cylinder engine.

CMA with 3-cylinder powertrain - 3/4 view CMA with 3-cylinder powertrain - Top view

There is a video that show almost pornographic details of the new engine. And the good part is that it is perfectly safe for work, have a look.

And we bet it will be a 1.5-liter engine: the ideal displacement of each cylinder is 500 cm³. This is very much why the 4-cylinder Drive-E is a 2 liter engine. The new 3-cylinder will be the basis for the hybrid version of the CMA platform, already named T5.

CMA with T5 Twin Engine powertrain – 3/4 view CMA with T5 Twin Engine powertrain – Top view

Besides all this, we cannot forget about the 4-cylinder Drive-E, the engine that already powers all of the more recent Volvo models.

CMA with 4-cylinder powertrain - 3/4 view CMA with 4-cylinder powertrain - Top view

Getting back to the 40.2 Concept, or the S40, as we think it will be named, it presents an interesting design and clearly has the same tail lights present in the S90, another element of identity with the brand’s sedans.

Volvo Concept 40.2 front quarter low

Volvo Concept 40.2 front Volvo Concept 40.2 rear quarter high Volvo Concept 40.2 profile Volvo Concept 40.2 rear quarter low

The 40.2 Concept also presents something that seems to have passed unnoticed to most: Volvo will have a new logo. At least it does in these new concepts. Check it below.

Volvo Concept 40.2 front

New times require a new identity. Both on logos and on cars. And Volvo seems to be in a promising path.


Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.