GOTHENBURG -- Volvo previewed its new compact-car range by unveiling concepts for an XC40 crossover and a vehicle that hints at the next V40 hatchback.
The cars are based on the automaker's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) developed with Chinese sister brand Geely and will include battery-powered and plug-in hybrid variants alongside versions with gasoline and diesel engines.
The XC40 will be Volvo's first compact SUV and will expand the company's product lineup into a booming segment as a rival to vehicles such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
The V40 will replace the current model of the same name that competes with the BMW 1 series and Audi A3. As with the current car, Volvo also plans a high-riding V40 Cross Country variant.
"The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said a press event at Volvo's headquarters here on Wednesday.
"An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture," he said.
The XC40 will be the first 40 series car to go into production, starting in 2017 at Volvo’s factory in Ghent, Belgium, Samuelsson said.
The XC40 will arrive in European, U.S. and Chinese showrooms starting next year, Volvo said, without providing a more specific timetable or revealing the rollout cadence for the compact SUV.
Samuelsson also declined to reveal the rollout plans for the other models that will make up the CMA family. In addition, Volvo did not say whether the new platform will underpin a replacement for the S40 sedan, which was discontinued in 2012. Samuelsson said that a compact sedan is definitely under consideration.