Volvo concepts preview new S40 and XC40 compact cars

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With the launch of its large cars complete, Volvo is now focused on introducing a new generation of compact cars.

The first of these compacts, or “40” series models, isn’t due until 2017 but to help build excitement—and perhaps persuade buyers to hold off on a competitor—Volvo has previewed two of them with a pair of concepts.

The concepts include a crossover SUV previewing a new XC40, and a sedan previewing a new S40. Volvo’s next-generation compact car range will also include a replacement for the current V40 hatchback.

Volvo 40.2 concept

Volvo 40.2 concept

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The concepts, like the production models they preview, are based on the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform developed by Volvo in partnership with parent company Geely. The platform promises advanced technologies in the areas of connectivity, electrification and autonomous driving, as well as the refined driving dynamics you’d expect from a premium offering.

The first production model to be spawned from the platform will be the XC40, a test mule for which we’ve already spotted. It will likely be followed by the S40 and eventually the new V40.

The cars will offer 3- and 4-cylinder engines in addition to alternative options. The most potent will be a T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. Note, the latter will feature front-wheel drive as opposed to the “through-the-road” hybrid all-wheel-drive setup used in Volvo’s plug-in hybrids based on the larger SPA (Scalable Product Architecture).

Volvo CMA modular compact car platform

Volvo CMA modular compact car platform

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Volvo has also confirmed that its compact car range will be offered with 7-speed dual-clutch transmissions.

The range will also include at least one battery-electric model; Volvo also plans a larger battery-electric car based on its SPA plaform and due by 2019. As the photos of the CMA platform reveal, Volvo's electric car will house its batteries in a T-shaped structure located under the rear seats and running down the center.

The good news is that Volvo's compact range will be offered in the United States. Volvo hasn’t sold a compact here since the C30 was dropped from the lineup in 2012.

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