By on September 7, 2016

Volvo V40 T5 R-design Studio

Volvo is determined to make a splash in the U.S. small car market when the next-generation 40-series cars arrive, and it’s already laying the groundwork.

The Swedish automaker filed a trademark application for the V40 name on August 31, paving the way for a five-door hatch that will ride atop the company’s new compact modular architecture (CMA).

The current V40, billed as a “small family car” by the automaker, has been sold overseas since 2013, and recently saw a styling refresh to hold it over until the next-generation models arrive. An earlier version of the model, with proper wagon proportions, left the North American market in 2004.

Failing to offer the current V40 in the U.S. was “a mistake,” senior vice-president for research and design Peter Mertens told Automotive News in March. Mertens blames the failure on Volvo’s past financial troubles.

Volvo Concept 40.1 rear three-quarters

Now surging, the automaker wants to complete its turnaround by introducing a compact sedan, wagon (or five-door) and crossover to the U.S. market. That announcement came in May, after the automaker introduced two 40-series concept vehicles — the 40.1 and 40.2. The concepts lay out the design direction of the next-generation 40-series vehicles.

There’s a new drivetrain waiting for them. Volvo’s T5 Twin Engine drivetrain sees a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and electric motor work together through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Automotive News that the 40-series vehicles will arrive in the U.S. within three years, though the automaker claims the first offering should start production in 2017, likely as a 2018 model. Interestingly, Volvo trademarked the C40 badge last November.

Many believe that the new compact Volvo crossover will carry an XC40 badge, but that might not be the case. The automaker’s focus will be on the models it feels will be the most lucrative, and crossovers and hatches take precedence over a sedan (which will no doubt carry the S40 name). An S40 trademark hasn’t been filed in the U.S., implying that the crossover and hatch will land on these shores first.

[Images: Volvo Car Corporation]

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42 Comments on “Volvo Readies Small Car Revival, Trademarks V40 Name in U.S....”

  • avatar

    too bad there’s no manual. That sounds like a fun engine.

    • 0 avatar

      Lets be serious, even if there was a manual most enthusiasts still wouldn’t buy it.

      Its FWD!
      Its not brown!
      The interiors too fussy!
      It has no “heritage”!
      My 300k Corolla could out run it!

    • 0 avatar

      It is pretty clear that, in North America, the manual transmission is destined to go the way of the carburetor and the manual choke.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t believe that. I think that most new cars sold in 15-20 years will be EV and autonomous, but there will be a thriving market in engaging, fun-to-drive cars for those who can afford to drive them. They may be second and third cars, but they’ll continue to exist.

  • avatar

    Hey, that looks pretty snazzy! Almost like a four door C30.

    “Volvo’s T5 Twin Engine drivetrain sees a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and electric motor work together through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.”

    Not interested any more.

    • 0 avatar

      And the C30 sold so well thus this will clearly work… NOT! The US market has sadly shown the Euro Hatch is not a thing the majority want. Now if you put black plastic around the bottom, raise it 4″ and call it a CUV you’ve got a winner.

      My wife loves her C30, its pretty much the perfect city car yet nobody bought one because who goes to the Volvo dealer looking for a sexy hot hatch? And anyone who did immediately ran away once they saw the price tag.

    • 0 avatar

      God yes. I’d rather have a CVT than a dual clutch mess…

      • 0 avatar

        It depends. If the dual clutch transmission is designed with everyday comfort in mind (which would make sense with this being a Volvo), i’d pick it anyday over CVT. Kind of like Acura’s DCT that also uses torque converter; it’s smooth in daily traffic but is faster and more efficient than regular automatic.

    • 0 avatar

      If The Simpsons has made fun of your service department, you know you’ve got a rep.

    • 0 avatar

      “Volvo’s T5 Twin Engine drivetrain sees a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and electric motor work together through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.”

      This is the configuration in the BMW i8, though I think the Germans use a CVT rather than dual-clutch. No one else noticed? **shakes fist**

      I don’t expect the Swedes will try to get zero to 100 kph in 4.4 seconds but it sounds like an interesting idea for an engine to me. And if that were their idea for a base engine – immediate torque, in-town hybrid mileage, a little more space inside – I want to hear more. Finally, the i8 proves this engine can get the Polestar treatment quite well.

      Disclosure: I’m looking forward to the Swedes giving my TDI rebate money and me an option next year. Badly. This would be an option I would take.

  • avatar

    The new Focus hatch looks great, but where’s this V40 you were talking about?

  • avatar

    Nice looking hatchback. Hopefully the engine has already been used for a while in EU before reaching states, so the reliability would be better. If they offer this using their Overseas Delivery Program at mid- to upper- $20K range this would present a great value.

  • avatar

    I’d buy a V40 it was within reach (30k-ish).

  • avatar

    As a satisfied Focus hatchback owner, I’d go on a shooting spree just to have one of those V40s in the US. It’s basically a more luxurious Focus with either the 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.5 five-cylinder turbo.

  • avatar

    the new 40 will be a CUV which is what this looks like to me, I looked at a v 40 when they came out , very little space for the money, much better off buying a V60, I hope they bring it here as a wagon but I bought there is a business case for it when almost any CUV will outsell a wagon.

  • avatar

    Two years ago a Houston dealer told me they wanted a lower priced small car.

  • avatar

    Issue over here (north america) is that anything with a 5th door is labelled “family” when it shouldn’t be limited to such a market. This vehicle is FAR too small for family duties, kids are in huge restraints until they are 8 years old or thereabouts, you need a mid size vehicle at the very least.

    In saying that, even for single, sort of affluent buyers, the 5th door is still handy but frowned upon here for some reason.

    • 0 avatar

      Even the biggest kid seats fit into a Golf-class vehicle easily.

    • 0 avatar

      Golf owner here and can attest, they’re great for family duty, and in harsh climates. Here in Quebec the Golf is one of the most popular cars (in fact hatches are as or more popular than CUVs), esp the diesel as heavier engine on snow tires is about as good as AWD for snow starts. And better for reverse-snow-donuts of course.

  • avatar

    “An S40 trademark hasn’t been filed in the U.S., implying that the crossover and hatch will land on these shores first.”

    Wouldn’t they already have the S40 trademark from a few years ago when they still sold the S40? It was a V50 and C30, which explains the need for those new trademarks.

  • avatar

    CHINESE automaker, not Swedish!

  • avatar

    A “Volvo” without a greenhouse is not a Volvo.

  • avatar

    Please yes. Chinese ownership seems to be doing great things for Volvo. The XC90 looks great and I can’t wait to see what the new XC60 and V40 look like. BMW is desperately hard trying to lose my future business. If no luxury automaker can get it’s act together then I guess I will just buy a Civic Touring appliance and save/invest the difference.

    • 0 avatar

      Chinese ownership = money to do the things the Swedish designers and engineers want to do (and and are capable of). American ownership under the Ford genius bean counters that starved the brand was a disaster.

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