Volvo began production of the XC40 today in Ghent, Belgium. But don’t get too excited, because the small crossover won’t arrive in U.S. dealerships until well into next year.
The XC40 is the first vehicle to sit on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture. Co-developed with parent company Geely, this architecture will underpin a range of small cars. At the start of production, the XC40 will be available with a T5 turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, paired with all-wheel drive. Other powertrains will arrive later.
To prepare for the XC40 and its new platform, Volvo expanded the Ghent plant’s body shop significantly. More than 363 new robots have been added, including one called “the Beast,” which lifts car bodies onto a conveyor belt near the ceiling of the plant. These upgrades should help Volvo make quick work of the 13,000 XC40 orders it has already received. In addition to the XC40, the facility is also home to the V40, V40 Cross Country, S60, and V60.
The 2018 Volvo XC40 is expected to arrive in the U.S. in May 2018, but you can order yours now. Prices for the T5 Momentum start just north of $35,000, while the T5 R-Design model is a few thousand more.