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Volvo V40 officially unveiled

New rival for the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series...

After numerous leaked images over the last week (that were far too grainy to bother showing), we can finally bring you the full official details of the all-new Volvo V40 that will take on the premium hatchback market later this year. The market is suitably refreshed with the new BMW 1-Series already on sale, plus the new Audi A3 on its way along with the new, more traditional Mercedes A-Class.

The new V40 takes the styling seen on the V60 and shrinks it into a more compact body, with very good results. In a market where the designs are generally played safe the V40 comes out as a bold statement that Volvo do things their own way. The front end sees the corporate low nose, with simple elegant headlights – again a break away from the increasingly trinket-like headlight designs seen on the competition. Strong lines curve down the sides along with an interesting shoulder line that cuts upwards just before the rear, which features the large V60-esque lights and a high waistline.

Under the hood, the new V40 will be available with the brand's very first diesel engine that boasts CO2 emissions of just 94g/km. No more details are available as yet, but expect it to be a 1.6 litre turbodiesel. There will also be a number of other engines available at launch including a turbocharged T5 petrol unit that generates 251 bhp which allows the V40 to accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds. Releasing the performance variant at launch is an unusual move for a major manufacturer, but will undoubtedly help with sales, especially in the US.

Volvo is yet to release full technical details of the entire engine line-up but we are told that all units will feature start-stop and braking energy regeneration technology and can be mated with manual or automatic transmission systems.

Volvo has a long proud tradition in the area of vehicle safety and the new V40 doesn’t disappoint, being equipped with a number of systems. These include a ground breaking Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake as well as a collision avoidance system that operates at speeds under 31mph. The interior is standard Volvo fayre, with clean surfaces, a highly ergonomic layout and undoubtedly the comfiest seats in the class.

The new Volvo V40 will be unveiled to the world's media at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6th. Production is due to begin at the company's plant in Ghent, Belgium in May and Volvo has targeted 90,000 annual sales with 85% of those heading for European customers.

Images and video courtesy of Volvo

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more