I like when production cars look close to their concepts, and the new 2018 Volvo XC40 didn’t change much from the clean and modern design we saw last year. Official pics and specs of the new crossover dropped this morning, and Volvo’s trying some new and different things with the ownership model.
First, the car. It looks nice! And it keeps the black roof option we saw on the concept, as well as the choice of white or body colors for up to 17 combinations. That’s fun.
The XC40 packs in a lot of the design and technology we’ve come to enjoy on the newer XC90 and S90 for a lot cheaper. At launch, the all-wheel drive T5 version will start at $35,200. That gets you a 247 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four. Next summer, Volvo says, a front-drive T4 version will go on sale at $33,200. Hybrid and full electric versions are coming later too.
Equally interesting is the new Care by Volvo subscription service, which launches with the XC40. It’s effectively a new kind of leasing with different terms and perks, and it’s done like buying a phone through your carrier or signing up for a streaming music service (they want those millennials, dammit.)
You pay a flat fee to have the car and everything from insurance to taxes to maintenance is covered by Volvo. You also get a new car every 24 months and have the option of borrowing other Volvos when you need them.
The app also lets you share your Volvo with your friends and family through a “digital key,” creating a new system of car-sharing. If you trust those people with your car, of course. It’s fine and understandable if you don’t.
A lot of this doesn’t sound far off from Lynk & Co., the other new car company owned by Volvo parent Geely that’s centered around new models of car sharing. So Volvo may be piloting some or all of those ideas here, with the new XC40, which by virtue of being a compact luxury SUV will probably sell quite well.
The first XC40s will be shipped to customers early next year.