Volvo un­leashes V40

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

THE lat­est and small­est pocket-rocket from Swe­den, the V40 R-De­sign, will be in Aus­tralia for the main­stream V40 launch early next year.

That’s the aim of Volvo Car Aus­tralia, which is in the fi­nal stages of price ne­go­ti­a­tions for the per­for­mance flag­ship of the V40 range.

The R-De­sign model will again be lim­ited to the T5 drive-train, un­like its home mar­ket where it can be ap­plied across the petrol and tur­bod­iesel engine line-up.

In Aus­tralia, the V40 R-De­sign will have 187kW and 360Nm (400Nm on over­boost) at its dis­posal to pro­pel it to 100km/h in 6.5 sec­onds, with an elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited top speed of 250km/h.

It will top a range of V40 en­gines that will start with an 84kW/270Nm 1.6-litre four-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel (in man­ual only), a 2-litre, 5-cylin­der 130kW/400Nm tur­bod­iesel and a 2-litre 132kW/300Nm 5-cylin­der tur­bocharged petrol that will only be avail­able with an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Volvo Aus­tralia’s Oliver Peagam said the brand was still fine-tun­ing the line-up and pric­ing but hoped to have the R-De­sign avail­able from launch.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be early next year. We’re hop­ing to have it as part of the V40 launch in the first quar­ter,’’ he said.

‘‘His­tor­i­cally we’ve only had an R-De­sign on the T5 and T6 en­gines but I think we’ll be main­tain­ing that tradition.’’

Avail­able in six colours, in­clud­ing the pic­tured Rebel Blue, the new V40 R-De­sign is lay­ing claim to hav­ing the looks and high­per­for­mance driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to back it up.

The snout has been al­tered with a new, glossy ‘‘silk-metal’’ grille and the same fin­ish ap­plied to a num­ber of other ex­te­rior trim pieces, as well as an ‘‘iron­stone’’ rear dif­fuser and twin ex­hausts sit­ting on 18-inch ‘‘di­a­mond cut’’ al­loy wheels.

The cabin gets the main­stream V40’s new dash­board, which of­fers three lay­out choices for the driver – El­e­gance, Eco and Per­for­mance. The dif­fer­ence in the R-De­sign is that all three carry the blue-colour theme.

Seat­ing is up­graded but Volvo said it was still a clearly Scan­di­na­vian de­sign – leather and Nubuck trimmed with an R-de­sign logo, or an op­tional ful­l­leather pew is avail­able.

The cabin also gets mod­el­spe­cific steer­ing wheel, gear shift, hand­brake and sports ped­als, as well as alu­minium trim ad­di­tions.

Volvo Car prod­uct strat­egy se­nior vice pres­i­dent Lex Kersse­mak­ers said the R-De­sign’s at­ten­tion to de­tail cov­ered the ex­pres­sive de­sign as well as the ag­ile, pre­cise per­for­mance.

‘‘The V40 R-De­sign is de­signed around the per­for­mance-minded in­di­vid­ual with a pas­sion for those things that add ex­tra spice to life,’’ he said.

Sit­ting on what Volvo calls a heav­ily mod­i­fied ver­sion of the Ford Fo­cus plat­form, the V40 R-De­sign’s Sport sus­pen­sion sits 10mm lower and has been de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with Swedish race-ace Robert Dahlgren and the Volvo Polestar Black R team.

The springs and dampers have been tight­ened up ac­cord­ingly and the di­am­e­ter of the anti-roll bars have been in­creased.

Volvo said R-De­sign buy­ers’ pas­sion for a fast­paced life was not just about speed and ac­cel­er­a­tion

The Swedish brand is aim­ing the ve­hi­cle at younger buy­ers.

The high-per­for­mance Volvo V40 R-De­sign will be avail­able in six colours when it ar­rives in Aus­tralia next year

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