Read our review of the Volvo V40 and watch all our car launch videos from the Geneva Motor Show 2012.
The new premium hatchback is the first vehicle from the Swedish manufacturer to be fully developed around its human-centric ‘Designed Around You’ safety strategy.
Impressive safety systems
As you would expect from a new Volvo, the V40 builds on the firm’s reputation for safety and features some clever new technology.
Chief among these is a world-first pedestrian airbag system. This comes in addition to the existing Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake Volvo already offers – also included on the V40. Exact details on how the airbag works are yet to be revealed, but we expect the device to pop the bonnet and inflate at the base of the windscreen in order to dissipate impact energy and reduce injuries.
The new V40 also gets the firm’s latest Lane Keeping Aid – complete with ‘haptic’ auto steering to correct the car’s line – while the City Safety autonomous braking system that scans the road ahead can now automatically apply the brakes at up to 31mph (currently only 19mph on other Volvo models) to help avoid or reduce the impact in a crash.
Petrol and diesel engines
The new V40 is powered by a range of diesel and petrol engines. There’s a 113bhp 1.6-litre D2 entry-level turbodiesel that claims headline efficiency of 94g/km CO2 emissions on paper, and a range-topping 251bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that will hit 62mph from rest in 6.7 seconds.
Expect the firm’s 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine to feature alongside Volvo’s current D3 and D4 2.0-litre turbodiesel motors, producing 148bhp and 175bhp respectively.
All engine choices are fitted with stop-start technology to help improve efficiency, although apart from the entry-level diesel engine, Volvo is yet to release any efficiency details for the new model.
The new V40 launches Volvo’s latest assault on the premium hatchback market, so the Swedish manufacturer has concentrated on giving the V40’s cabin a quality feel.
The new car receives Volvo’s familiar ‘waterfall’ centre console and is claimed to sport a driver-centric approach and ergonomics that ‘make you feel informed, focused and relaxed’, thanks in part to the fully graphic instrument cluster that allows drivers to personalise their own layout.
Production of the all-new V40 will begin in May this year, although Volvo is yet to release any pricing and full specification details, or a launch date. Expect more information once the car is unveiled next week at Geneva.
- See what the V40 is up against in our medium car round-up
- Tell us about your car for a chance to win £10,000 in the 2012 Which? Car Survey