Volvo V40 production kicks off

Article by Christian A., on May 17, 2012

Just as order books open, the brand new Volvo V40 gets wide acceptance in the fleet industry especially by future value guides and leasing companies. Residual values, desirability and demand for this latest five-door hatchback are forecasted as being strong. According to National Corporate Operations Manager Selwyn Cooper at Volvo Car UK, the vehicle relies more on fleet advice and feedback in the last six to twelve months before its launch.

He further stated that this is the most important vehicle that the company has introduced in the past 20 years. Much of the design, technology and specification of Volvo's new hatchback are developed with the "company motorist in mind," he added.

Moreover, he explained that the fleet industry are now an "integral part" of their final development of a vehicle prior to its launch in order to be sure that prices, positioning and specification are "all where they should be."

The positive feedback from the industry is "vital" as the brand attempts to boost its foothold in the corporate sector, Cooper stated. Senior Manager Pricing Risk Andrew Mee at Lex Autolease commented that they  believe the vehicle will be "a success," adding that their residual value predictions are "at a similar level" to VW Golf, ahead of the recent Audi A3 Sportback, and just behind the latest BMW 1 Series.

V40 offers an enhanced driving experience more than any other Volvo models in the past. The suspension provides control without feeling overly firm.

Refinement levels are good, matched by a high quality interior with the typical comfortable Volvo seats, Mee added. Other standard features are Volvo's pioneering low-speed collision avoidance system, world-first pedestrian airbag technology, City Safety and Bluetooth handsfree telephone system.

According to Volvo’s Stefan Jacoby, the V40 is their first C-segment 5-door hatchback. The carmaker’s president and CEO also said that they believe the V40 is a class leader when it comes to many areas, from design, to safety, to driving dynamics, to fuel economy. The car, he added, perfectly illustrates the company’s Designed-Around-You philosophy. It is seamlessly and effortlessly connected to the driver, is pleasing and easy to use, and handles in an intuitive way.

Volvo V40 has a particularly striking design. Chris Benjamin, design director at Volvo's concept studio in Camarillo, California, styled the V40’s exterior. According to him, he aimed for an emotionally engaging vehicle with the functionality and practicality of a 5-door hatchback but with the appearance of a coupé. The Pedestrian Airbag Technology permitted Benjamin to lower the car’s bonnet line and the whole car itself. The V40 is 29 mm lower than the C30 coupé and is considered to be one of the road’s lowest hatchbacks. Meanwhile, the C30 is the basis for the V40’s rear styling. The C30, meanwhile, had taken its cues from the ‘70s classic P1800ES.

Moreover, the cabin’s design priorities were to provide the feel of a large car inside the body of a small car. The car’s dash is wide, thus accentuating the large car feel, with available new high-tech thin film transistor or TFT instrument digital display. You can select from three different instrument displays, including an "eco" setting, which allows for a more economic driving; a "performance" mode, which better suits a more spirited driving; and the more classical "elegance" mode. In addition, you can opt for TFT instrumentation on any Volvo V40 model.

The V40 also comes with hands-free mobile connectivity and Bluetooth music streaming as standard. Other features include a navigation system with directions located in the car’s main instrument cluster, as well as a mobile app that helps you find your car in large car parks, allows you to lock or unlock doors, and gives you a journey log.

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