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Get ready for the baby XC90: small Volvo SUV is on the way

Swedish rival to BMW X1 and Audi Q3 to arrive by 2020

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Sure as night follows day, Volvo is ready to follow BMW, Mercedes and Audi with an X1/GLA/Q3-sized SUV of its own.

It’ll be called the XC40, and arrive within the next four years amid an unprecedented rush of new cars for the Swedish safety enthusiasts.

During a presentation on the new S90 saloon, Volvo’s head of product Iain Howat flashed up a handy chart spelling out the firm’s model strategy from now until 2020.

There, nestled in the bottom right hand corner, was the long-speculated XC40.

The others? Well there’s the XC90 (pictured) and S90 we already know, followed closely by a V90 Estate – the ‘sophisticated’ column in Volvo’s line-up.

The ‘dynamic’ column features the S60, V60 and XC60, all of which will be replaced in the not-too distant future, using the same ‘SPA’ platform as the XC90.

Finally there’s the ‘fun’ duo of the new V40 and XC40 – both of which will use Volvo’s small ‘CMA’ platform co-developed with its Chinese chums Geely.

That really is a fierce rate of introductions by Volvo’s modest standards, and there are some bold sales projections to go with them. In 2015 Volvo will sell around 43,000 cars in the UK, over 10,000 more than 2013, but it wants to shift 60,000 a year by 2020.

Globally, that translates to around 500,000 cars this year, and a target of 800,000 by 2020. Ambitious.

Volvo’s UK MD offered a little insight into the strategic thinking behind the XC40.

“There’s only so much growth in existing segments,” admitted Howat. “We need to find places we can tap into that use our core strengths.”

A small, safe-as-houses SUV infused with the brand’s minimalist Scandinavian design could be just the ticket…

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