Volvo will add a 30-liter storage compartment under the hood of the full-electric XC40. The so-called “frunk” was created because the compact SUV’s electric motor takes up less space than the internal combustion engine it replaces.
The extra compartment is just one of the design changes to the battery-powered version of the Swedish automaker’s global No. 2-seller. It also gets a smaller grille because there is no longer the need to cool an engine — and loses its tailpipe.
Subtracting those features makes the XC40 “even sleeker and more modern,” Volvo brand design boss Robin Page said in a release Wednesday.
While Volvo officials did not discuss details of the storage or grille areas, the grille and packaging for sensors typically are molded with thermoplastics.
“Without the need for a grille we have created an even cleaner and more modern face, while the lack of tailpipes does the same at the rear. This is the approach we will explore more and more as we continue down the road of electrification,” he said.
Volvo is steadily releasing details on the XC40 EV, which will be the company’s biggest debut so far this year when the final product is revealed Oct. 16.
News of the exterior and interior design tweaks follow details revealed last week on how Volvo reworked the car’s structure to compensate for the loss of the engine and to protect the XC40’s battery in the event of a crash.
The full-electric XC40 also will be the first Volvo equipped with a new advanced driver assistance system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. The redesign of the grille helped Volvo with the packaging of those sensors, Volvo said.
Other design tweaks that the electric XC40 will debut include the addition of metallic sage green to the vehicle line’s color palette as well as the option to fit the SUV with 19- or 20-inch wheels.
The XC40 EV is the first member what is expected to be an extensive lineup of emissions-free models from Volvo, which wants battery-propelled vehicles to account for half of its global sales by 2025.
While the XC40 leads Volvo's entry into the e-mobility era, it is the second full-electric vehicle from the Volvo Car Group. The first was the Polestar 2, which the group’s electrified performance brand revealed to the public at the 2019 Geneva auto show.
Both the XC40 EV and the Polestar 2, which share Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture, will be on the road by 2020.