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Next Volvo V40 to morph into high-riding crossover

by Drew Johnson

Volvo is planning a big change for its V40 hatchback.

Volvo is planning a thorough design overhaul for its next-generation V40 small car, the automaker's European head has revealed.

Currently, the Volvo V40 is a low-slung hatchback, but that will change for the next-generation of the car. Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's European boss, revealed to Automotive News Europe that the V40's replacement will be a high-riding crossover.

The reason for the switch is twofold. Firstly, buyers' tastes have shifted from cars to utility vehicles, even in Europe, so the V40 needs to change with the times. Secondly, Volvo plans to eventually offer a pure electric version of the V40, and a taller platform will more easily accommodate a battery pack.

"There are two trends in society that we have to include. First is that people want to sit high and second is that if you launch a car, it needs to facilitate an electric variant,” Kerssemakers said.

The V40 is the oldest vehicle in the Volvo range and still rides on a Ford legacy platform. The new V40 will switch to Volvo's modular platform that also underpins the XC40 SUV.

It remains to be seen if the next V40 will follow the general blueprint of Volvo's Cross Country line -- which transforms conventional wagons into soft-roaders -- or blaze a new styling path. In 2016 Volvo introduced the 40.2 concept car (pictured), which could hint at the future design direction of the next V40.

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