Our first story about the Volvo XC40 electric SUV was published in June of last year. Now the company has offered a few glimpses of what the production version of that car will look like. Unlike some manufacturers who like to slather their upcoming models with convoluted graphics that make them look they are meant to be scanned rather than driven, the latest renderings from Volvo show actual segments of the car, just not the whole thing.
The new XC40 will be officially unveiled on October 16. Volvo has confirmed it will have dual electric motors, but no information about range or prices has been announced as of yet. While Volkswagen and Mercedes are creating separate divisions for their upcoming electric cars, Volvo is planning to offer both hybrid and battery electric versions of its future cars that are based on similar platforms with nearly identical sheet metal.
“Electrification is the future of the automotive industry, so how do you handle that as soon as you come to the majority of electric cars? How do you handle it in your portfolio? I think it’s much more natural to say it’s a powertrain variant that over time will take up the majority of the sold vehicles,” says head designer Thomas Inglenlath. The company says half of its models will be battery electrics by 2025.
“That will be the master plan of how electrification will come to the Volvo product range. We will not establish products beside our hybrids, we will introduce electrification as a powertrain variant within the existing portfolio.” The proof is in the illustrations Volvo has released that show the rear of the XC40 without a tailpipe and a blanked out grille at the front.
Underneath the skin, the XC40 Electric will have what looks like a conventional skateboard design, with the battery pack installed low in the chassis and in the traditional central tunnel structure. There will even be room for a 1 cubic foot “frunk” in front.
The XC40 will be the first car from Volvo to offer a new driver assistance system that integrates radar, camera, and ultrasonic technologies, according to Car & Driver. Volvo’s engineers have also redesigned the front and rear crash structures and developed the motor mounts to control how the electric motors behave in a collision. Volvo has always placed a premium on passenger safety, and its next generation cars will continue that commitment.
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