Volvo to launch V40 five-door hatchback at 2012 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Eugene Conan, on February 29, 2012

Volvo is looking forward to the launch of the newest addition to its fleet, the Volvo V40 five-door hatchback, at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The carmaker wants Volvo V40 to compete against the dominant players in the premium hatchback class – the BMW 1-series and Audi A3. Volvo created the V40 as the replacement for the outgoing S40 and V50 models, which would soon see its last days of production to give way to the new model’s assembly at the company’s Ghent plant in Belgium.

Volvo aims to hit an annual production figure of around 90,000 units of the V40, which combines the features of models it will replace in one body style. Volvo plans to roll out the V40 in Europe in May and the UK in August.

With regards to specs, the V40 is available in six engine options -- three petrol and three diesel –led by the carmaker's 254 bhp five-cylinder version, which could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 150 mph.

Volvo is planning to produce four cylinders-only V40s and is aiming to create high performance versions “by electrification.” The other two petrol variants sport four cylinders turbo 1.6 liter engines from Ford with power outputs of 150 bhp and 180 bhp.

The diesel range, meanwhile, features 177 bhp and 150 bhp 2.0 litre five-cylinder turbo engines, and a fuel-efficient 1.6 litre 115 bhp four-cylinder turbo that has carbon emissions of only 94 grams/litre.

All variants are endowed with stop-start systems and brake energy regeneration. The V40 also comes with an improved City Safety anti-collision system, which detects possible obstacle while running up to 50 km/h (30 mph).

The V40’s most significant safety feature is the innovative pedestrian airbag, which, upon impact, pops the hatchback’s bonnet and provides a large soft pad at the base of the screen onto which a pedestrian can fall. The cushion however, is U-shaped, allowing the driver to keep visibility and keep steering.

The V40 will be manning the frontline of the company’s new aggressive marketing campaign dubbed “Designed Around You” aimed at reviving “Volvo’s rightful place in the world.”

Although the new V40 is built on Ford Focus’ platform, Volvo asserts that it has re-rated the vehicles electric power steering and modified the spring and damper setting.

Volvo says that the V40 is around 4cm shorter than the outgoing S40model, but is wider and lower.  As a result, the car’s kerbweight should be lower, although engineers are still calculating the figure.

In the interior, the Volvo V40 features a plush yet simple design that highlights Scandinavian values. It also features mood lighting and an illuminated gear lever knob. The V40 features an interactive digital dash.

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