Volvo has revived an old moniker for its all-new five-door hatchback, the V40.
Set to compete with the likes of the Audi A3 Sportback, the Swedish firm is hoping the V40 will slot right into the premium end of the hatchback market.
It will be powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines already found across the company’s model line-up. At the lower-cost end of the scale there will be a 1.6-litre D2 diesel engine which boasts CO2 emissions of just 94g/km. This means extremely low Benefit-in-Kind tax liability for company car driver. Tax will be payable at 13% for the 2012/13 tax year, remaining at this level for at least the next 24 months.
At the other end of the scale there will be a 254bhp D5 petrol engine which will enable the V40 to sprint to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds.
Every engine in the range will feature stop/start and brake energy regeneration to maximise efficiency.
Going up against the BMW 1 Series, Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3 Sportback in the handling stakes is no mean feat, but Volvo hopes to rule the roost in this discipline. The chassis is, according to the firm, designed to offer an ‘agile, connected driving experience that creates true driving pleasure’. We’ll have to wait and see whether the V40 has enough in its arsenal to counter opposition – most notably the BMW with its rear-wheel-drive architecture, composed handling and engaging steering.
As ever with Volvo cars, safety is a priority. The firm’s Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake system will feature, meaning at low speeds the risk of hitting someone is far lower than in a conventional car. There’s also an airbag specifically for pedestrians; a world first according to Volvo.
Lane-keeping assist and Park Assist for parallel parking, City Safety low-speed crash avoidance technology and the usual array of passive safety measures mean the firm is hoping for a top score in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests.
The car will be unveiled in full at the Geneva Motor Show and will go into production in May 2012.