Volvo XC40 heralding the age of small models image

The XC40 is not only Volvo’s latest crossover and the first of its kind, but it also brings a completely new platform – CMA – set to underpin all models compact and below from now on.

The XC40 can easily be considered the junior brother to the XC60 and XC90 SUVs, but in truth aside from the obvious design lineage the XC40’s internals are quite different. The latter two share the SPA platform, along with the S/V90 large passenger cars – while the XC40 comes with an all-new CMA platform, developed internally with parent company Geely, and as such it will be used by other brands of the Chinese conglomerate as well. The XC40 “allowed us a chance to be a bit more daring and adventurous,” contends Robin Page, Volvo’s senior vice president of design.

This first example of Volvo’s new compact ambitions is also delivering the “building blocks” for future compact models – Page has a mental picture of a bulldog puppy when referring to the new XC40. Designer Ian Kettle, on the other hand, thinks about the new compact SUV as “a tough little robot,” with distinct features – contrasting roof blend with the body on D pillar, angled grille – as well as connecting elements, such as the signature Thor’s hammer LED running lights and vertical taillamps. Volvo also says the new CMA platform has been engineered to be compatible with all Drive-E engines in expectation to receive plug-in hybrid and electric versions in the years to come.