Volvo just offered a look at its new 40 series compact cars and SUVs, including a plug-in hybrid and an electric car.
The Volvo 40 series should go on sale in the U.S. starting in 2018, according to IHS Automotive. These new models are the final major piece emanating from Chinese automaker Geely’s $11 billion investment in Volvo several years ago; its plug-in models are part of a “global electrification strategy” announced last year.
The compact cars and SUVs will be built on what Volvo calls the Compact Modular Architecture. That separates the platform from the Scalable Product Architecture used in the XC90 and Volvo’s other larger vehicles. Geely will likely use the new Volvo architecture for a range of upscale models from a new brand the Chinese automaker will create.
Details on plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants haven’t been released. The compact car is expected to be named the S40 and the compact SUV will likely be called the XC40. Volvo may also rollout hatchback and station wagon compact models.
The compact Volvos will come with a three-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine will be similar to what’s in the XC and S90 with turbo and supercharging to maximize output and fuel efficiency.
For its larger plug-in models, Volvo launched its XC90 plug-in hybrid SUV in the U.S. last summer with a starting price of $68,100 before tax incentives. This PHEV version of the XC90 is powered by Volvo’s 2.0 liter supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E engine, which is combined to a rear axle electric motor. It’s considered to be the world’s first seven passenger plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
Volvo debuted its S90 luxury sedan at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Its plug-in hybrid version was said to compete with the Mercedes S550 Plug In the now-deceased Cadillac ELR. Powering the S90 is Volvo’s T8 all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Last year, Volvo released its new “global electrification strategy,” which will include new plug-in versions of its sedans, SUVs, and wagons. A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is also in development in the strategy. Volvo didn’t elaborate on what its battery electric vehicle will look like, but it will be a car rolling out in 2019.