Volvo officials have confirmed the Swedish carmaker will to bring its all-new small SUV, the XC40, to India around mid-2018. The company's smallest SUV will take on the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
For India, the XC40 will be initially offered with a choice of two engines – a 190hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel (D4) and a 247hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol (T5). Both versions will use eight-speed automatic gearboxes and, impressively enough, will come with all-wheel drive as standard. Volvo has also said the 150hp, 2.0-litre diesel (D3) could come in at a later stage, with front-wheel drive.
As has become the norm for Volvo, it will bring the XC40 to India packed with features. The XC40 diesel D4 will be available in Momentum and Inscription trims, while the petrol T5 will solely be offered in R-Design form. Standard across the range will be 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking assist, a digital instruments cluster and Volvo’s 9.0-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Higher-spec Inscription trim cars will be identifiable by their six-spoke 18-inch alloys and chrome window trim on the outside. Inscription-spec cars will also feature a powered driver’s seat with memory function and ambient lighting, with part-leather seats, wood inlays and an Orrefors crystal gear lever upping the ambience inside. The R-Design on the other hand would offer a different, and sportier flavour to the XC40. Five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels and a blacked-out roof and mirrors will set this version of the XC40 apart. On the inside, R-Design versions will feature racy aluminium inlays, leather seats as well as perforated leather finish on the steering wheel and gear lever. They will also get stiffer springs, as part of a ‘Sports chassis’, for a sportier drive.
Additionally, a ‘First Edition’ variant will also be offered at the time of launch with even more features thrown in. Active headlamps, a handsfree and powered tail gate, wireless mobile phone charging and a Harman sound system are some of the other goodies that will be part of the package. This version will also feature Pilot Assist that can read road markings to gently steer the car within lanes; the system’s efficacy on India’s poorly labeled roads remains to be seen, though.
Of course, you can’t talk Volvo without talking safety equipment. And suffice to say, the XC40 will come loaded in this area too, debuting radar-based safety functions in the small luxury SUV class. In addition to the expected kit of airbags and electronics, the XC40 will also come with Volvo’s City Safety that prompts the driver to brake, and in extreme scenarios even applies the brakes automatically to avoid a collision. Also on board will be adaptive cruise control, oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road mitigation and blind spot information.
Interestingly, the XC40 will not be assembled in India at Volvo’s facility in Karnataka but will be brought in as a full import. The reason being the assembly facility is so far only geared up to make cars on Volvo’s SPA or Scalable Platform Architecture. The XC40 is the first car to be built on Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that will underpin upcoming models from Volvo’s 40- and 30-series lines. Despite being burdened with the full gamut of import duties, Volvo is no stranger to pricing its cars keenly and we expect the XC40 to be priced competitively as well. A price tag of about Rs 37-42 lakh will put the XC40 at par with all-wheel-drive rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Volvo has upped its game in the Indian luxury segment in the past few years and the XC40 could just be the model to take the Swedish carmaker’s sales to the next level.