Volvo has begun to share details about their newest venture which is to have small cars that we can enjoy in the luxury compact class. There is a lot to learn about their new 40-series compact range of vehicles and what they will have to offer us from a comfort, drive and capability standpoint. Let’s take a look.
New Platform – Volvo has created what they are calling the CMA platform which is different from the previous Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform used for the new XC90, S90 and V90. This new platform is designated the Compact Modular Architecture and is scalable, like its predecessor, and it will allow the floor pan to change to allow for vehicles that fit batteries when necessary.
Electric – The CMA design platform is made to handle a wide variety of electrification. This platform works well for hybrid and EV application which is the direction Volvo is headed. The company will offer a plug in hybrid that uses a 9.7 kWh batter along with a battery-electric powertrain that will be able to travel at least 215 miles on a single charge.
Dual Clutch – Volvo uses the T5 engine setup completely different from any other electric motor setup. This motor is attached outside the transmission and is connected to the reverse-second-fourth-sixth shaft. This after the clutch connection allows the motor to add power no matter what gear the transmission is in and even when the engine is turned off. This motor can even add power while the transmission is in the act of shifting which makes for a great power boost for this new series.
Used for Geely – Geely is the parent company of Volvo and CEVT and has yet to be able to bring Geely cars to the US market. This platform will allow a differentiation of the brands but also make it possible for Geely to enter markets they haven’t previously been sold in to become a more globalized name and trusted car brand.
Different Shapes – We will see the 40 series in a few different models as it makes the most use of this new platform. The XC40 will be the small crossover SUV and the V40 will be the wagon version. Of course we should expect the sedan version to be called the S40 and there may even be a convertible model which would be called the C40 if it were to come to market, giving us several versions of this new car.
Mechanical AWD – During the first phase of this new platform the AWD system will be mechanical. This is different than was used on the SPA platform. The on demand AWD can be added later and offered in vehicles a couple years down the road. This new platform is flexible enough to offer FWD versions of the hybrid cars along with some that are AWD.
Autonomous Features – This won’t be the platform targeted at testing autonomous technology as these cars will need to be the least expensive vehicles in the lineup, but as the larger models gain the autonomous features so will the 40 series vehicles. The exact details of this trickle-down effect hasn’t been finalized, but it soon will be so we can understand what these vehicles will offer.
Smartphone Key – Your smartphone will be able to be used as the key for this car. This is a feature that has gained a lot of popularity and Volvo will offer it as an App along with the ability to send keys to your friends and relatives who will use your Volvo for short periods of time. Their keys will have expiration dates set by you to allow you to remain in control.
Production Dates – The first Volvos that will use this new platform will go into production next year. No announcement has been made as to which one will be launched first, but it could be the crossover XC40 because of the popularity of this segment right now. We will get to enjoy this new platform on the production models presented at shows in the near future so we can see exactly what this new build has to offer.
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