The all-new Volvo V40 – Design: Truly Scandinavian luxury look and feel
6 March 2012
The all-new Volvo V40 enters the Premium Hatchback class featuring a luxury look and feel that emphasises the aura of a compact car with large-car content and characteristics.
It is charged with all the elegant yet functional Scandinavian design virtues: clean, elegant lines, high-end materials and finish as well as intuitive cutting-edge technology.
Low and wide front design
The classic V-shaped bonnet is further enhanced by bolder expressive lines. The high-gloss grille is low and wide in order to create a sporty, close-to-the-ground feel. The lower opening is surrounded at the corners by sculpted bodywork, stretching from one wheel arch to the other. The sculptured corners not only add character, they also direct the airflow to improve aerodynamics. Daytime Running Lights are set into the lower corners of the front end, sweeping upward from direct front view. The "blade design" of the front headlights creates an attractive light pattern in the dark.
Wide shoulder and dynamic profile
The wide shoulder line stretches back from the headlamp with a sharp line to echo the rising beltline. As it reaches the end of the rear door it sweeps up into an integrated "hook", inherited from the legendary P1800. The highlight continues rearward into a very full powerful section that resolves into the tail lamps.
The roof silhouette contributes to the impression of a car leaning forward - eager to take off. The car is finished with a dynamically sculpted rear to further emphasise its width and muscular stance, with the lower area "blacked out" to achieve an athletic, low and wide look.
The distinctive design of the tail lamps is part of the Volvo DNA. They are positioned high and follow the curvature of the shoulder. The hexagonal tailgate, first introduced on the C30 and inspired by the P1800ES, is also a Volvo signature.
Exterior styling kit
The buyer of the all-new V40 can personalise the car with an exterior accessory styling kit. The kit creates an exclusive, sporty aura and improves aerodynamic efficiency.
The exterior styling kit includes deflectors, a twin-coloured rear diffuser, a striping kit and enlarged rectangular, chromed twin tail pipes. Diamond-cut 18-inch alloy wheels with contrasting grey detailing and a roof spoiler can be added separately
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) give the car an individual style and a high-tech look. Optical light guides are used to obtain light patterns that emphasise the design. LED is used in the following areas:
- Front position lights
- Turn indicators in the door mirrors
- Rear position lights
- Rear number plate illumination
- High positioned brake light
- Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Integrated LED turn indicators offer improved visibility and give the car a modern look. The door mirrors can be automatically retracted when locking the car. There is also an automatic tilt function to make the kerb visible when reversing.
Panorama glass roof - an enlightening experience
The all-new Volvo V40 is available with a fixed panorama glass roof that stretches from the front windscreen to the backrest of the rear seats. The panorama roof improves the feeling of spaciousness inside the car. It is tinted and designed to reduce infrared radiation into the passenger compartment.
An electrically controlled fabric curtain is located under the roof. The curtain opens from the rear, which means the rear passengers can enjoy the light of the sun while the driver and front passenger are still shaded.
Interior - designed around people
The interior of the all-new Volvo V40 is designed around people with a strong emphasis on ergonomics, comfort and an engaging driving experience.
The wide instrument panel, together with the fluidity of the door design, creates a spacious, "large-car" feeling. The interior is designed to offer the driver and passengers a spacious and relaxing atmosphere with a true Scandinavian flavour. The choice of materials and colours emphasises the luxurious feeling of quality and craftsmanship.
Seats with comfortable side support
Ergonomics and comfort are key words in Volvo Car Corporation's seat development. Just like the front seats, the outer rear seats are comfortably sculpted.
The foldable two-cup holder integrated in the centre of the rear seat cushion is a smart feature that is discreetly hidden in the seat cushion when not in use, without affecting comfort for the middle rear seat passenger.
Electrical heating is available in both the front seats and the outer rear seats.
The interior programme has three main colour themes: Charcoal, Charcoal/Blond, or Espresso/Blond. Leather seats are also available in a new Azure Blue accent colour.
Textiles are certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Leather surfaces are chrome-free. The "Clean Compartment" scheme is recommended by the Swedish Asthma & Allergy organisation
Slim, floating centre stack
The all-new V40 features Volvo's iconic ultra-slim centre stack, now in a more sculpted version than in previous models. The centre stack comes as standard in charcoal. Modern Wood, Shimmer Graphite and Centre Court (tennis-inspired look with a red stripe) are options.
The centre stack has a Silk Metal Chrome finish frame that enhances the décor. The same finish is also found in the doors and on the Instrument panel as well as around the centre display, outer air vents, start button and gearshift gaiter.
Frameless interior rear-view mirror
Another interior gem is the new, frameless interior rear-view mirror, inspired by modern smartphone design.
Below the armrest is a storage compartment suitable for CDs and other small items. It also featues a connector for either USB/iPod or AUX, depending on the audio system specified. The armrest can be adjusted to provide extra support for the driver. Two cup holders and a 12V power outlet are integrated in the console in front of the armrest.
The glove compartment includes space for two soft-drinks cans or bottles that are kept cool with cold air from the Electronic Climate Control system.
Other convenient features are a sunglass compartment above the driver's door, a pen holder in the glove compartment and handy storage compartments under the instrument panel and on the outside of the outer rear seats. Another smart detail is the specially designed, drained storage unit for an ice scraper in the driver's door panel.
Seven different mood light options
The interior lighting is designed to give a "theatre lighting" feel. LED lamps are used to light up strategic areas. The driver can enjoy a red-to-blue setting that adapts the light to the interior temperature - or choose between another seven mood themes. The reading lights front and rear can be dimmed.
Illuminated gearshift knob
The gearshift knobs for the automatic and manual transmissions are transparent and LED-illuminated from inside. The pattern is reflected to create an exclusive 3D illusion. There are also LED lights in the door panel storage pockets.
Two-level luggage floor
The two-piece, 40/60, rear seat backrest can be easily folded in different ways when carrying long objects. There is a practical hanging load net in the load compartment.
A soft safety net is optional and a steel version is available as an accessory.
The V40 can be equipped with an "extra" floor in the load compartment, making the floor flat when the rear seat is folded. The front passenger seat can be folded forward to create even more space.
In addition to the two permanent hooks, the extra floor integrates hooks for grocery bags. Between the upper and lower floors there is a concealed storage area.
The accessory range includes a "Cargo Mat Organiser" that keeps smaller items secure and in order, as well as a "Load Organiser" that includes a load compartment divider, a load belt and two floor rails.
Another practical new detail is that the fuel-filler pipe is self-closing - a smart design that makes refuelling easier since there is no longer a need for a fuel-filler cap.
Chris Benjamin, exterior design manager:
"The all-new Volvo V40 offers the customer a large-car experience in a small package. It offers a full deck of luxury, comfort and high-tech features. The blend of coupe-like roofline and dynamic sculpted surfaces gives the car a modern, athletic look. However, it is also a proud descendant of classic Volvos thanks to subtle design cues such as the iconic P1800 ‘hook' at the top of the rear door and the semi-hexagonal rear glass graphic which takes its inspiration from the P1800 ES."
"The extremely 'fast‘ A-pillar creates a dynamic, distinctive expression compared to other cars in the class. The line running over the top of the car, the 'hooked‘ shoulder line and the sill line that sweeps upward all come together to create a muscular, dynamic look. Exceptionally modern, yet unmistakably Volvo."
"We have pulled in the D-pillar considerably. This has paved the way for the powerful rear shoulder that is such a distinctive feature. Both these volume changes give the impression that the car fits like a tailored suit, rather than one off the rack. The low height also improves frontal area, which leads to better aerodynamics and lower CO2 emissions."
"The sculpted rear is my favourite part of the car. It too has a low, wide look that radiates a lot of confidence. The hexagonal shape of the tailgate is now something of a Volvo hallmark, aligning the V40 design with the look of our V60 sports wagon."
Sven-Olof Persson, interior design manager:
"The interior of the all-new V40 is designed around people and puts a strong emphasis on ergonomics, comfort and an in-command driving experience. We have co-operated closely with the engineers to create a truly-driver orientated interior environment."
"The V40 is a five-seater. The outer seats in the rear have a sporty bucket shape to create a comfortable, spacious ride. The shape is designed to offer maximum comfort and support even on a really long journey."
"The latest infotainment system elevates the interaction between driver and car to an entirely new level. The instrument cluster and the slim centre stack are framed by a smart décor element. There are several little ‘jewels‘ that contribute to the luxury overall impression, for instance the lever-integrated gear indicator and a wide choice of mood light modes. We have also focused on creating many small, practical storage areas inside the car."
Maria Uggla, colour & material design manager:
"The meticulous attention to detail and the choice of materials contribute to the high-quality impression. This approach is crucial for creating the same exclusive atmosphere as in a large luxury car. We have worked hard to achieve the right Scandinavian luxury feel: pure, clean and genuine - but without being too minimalistic."
"We have upgraded virtually all the interior materials and surfaces. This includes new natural leather, a more exclusive trim texture, new décor materials and enhanced craftsmanship down to every single stitch."
"There is a generous range of individual possibilities. Dark elegance? Scandinavian bright? Sporty and extrovert? Just choose the interior that best suits your personality. The rich combination of exterior colours and interior choices allows you to express your personality."
The all-new Volvo V40
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The all-new Volvo V40 – Design
The all-new Volvo V40 – Driving Dynamics
The all-new Volvo V40 – Safety and Support
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