2012 Volvo V40 not coming to the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 28, 2011

Volvo’s all new V40, a C30-based five-door that will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next March, won’t be offered in the U.S., according to a report from Motor Trend. The new Volvo V40 is intended to be a rival to the Audi A3 and the European BMW 1-Series hatchback. It is believed to either be released as a stylish small wagon or large hatchback.

Volvo Cars North America (VCNA) believes that Americans prefer crossovers and aren’t likely to buy its hatchbacks and wagons.

The U.S. sales of the current V50 wagon are doing poorly. But then, it’s only because it’s aging. A teaser of the V40 had made U.S. fans excited and the reason is that it’s a totally different vehicle. What Volvo plans for the U.S. market instead is the XC40 crossover that is being tested by Volvo.

If the XC40 is produced, it’s expected to be slotted below the XC60. This means that it will go against the premium compact crossovers such as the upcoming BMW X1 and Audi Q3. So far, Volvo has yet to confirm whether it is working on an XC40 crossover and a new S40 sedan.

Setting new class standards in terms of handling, fuel economy and safety, the new Volvo V40 five-door hatchback boasts of a stunning coupé design that employs cues from the C30 coupé and the P1800ES Volvo. For this version of the Volvo V40, the carmaker particularly focused on improving the car’s handling and steering feel while increasing its level of agility and ride comfort.

Engineers at the carmaker are confident that the new Volvo V40 has set the class standard for dynamic fineness. Of course, Volvo has made its leadership position in the field of vehicle safety felt in the new V40.

The carmaker put in innovative safety features like the Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake that made its debut on the Volvo S60, and the new Pedestrian Airbag Technology. Debuting in the new Volvo V40, the new Pedestrian Airbag inflates from under the rear edge of the bonnet as soon as the vehicle senses that a pedestrian will be hit.

This would raise the bonnet to provide necessary cushion for the pedestrian, with the airbag protecting the head from the "hard points" located at the base of the windscreen and lower A-pillars.

These two innovative safety technologies help ensure that the all-new V40 delivers superb protection for both its occupants and pedestrians, taking note that 14 percent and more than 25 percent of all traffic fatalities in Europe and China, respectively, are pedestrians.

In addition, the new V40 features an improved version of City Safety -- which made its debut on the Volvo XC60 – that helps avoid noise-to-tail accidents during urban driving at speeds of to 50 km/h (31 mph), instead of the previous 30 km/h (19 mph). According to insurance claims involving the Volvo XC60, City Safety was responsible for reducing personal injury claims by 51 percent, and lowering vehicle repair costs by over 20 percent.

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