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Volvo’s new semi-autonomous XC40 is set to change the way Kiwis drive

Mon, 4th Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The new compact SUV will introduce the latest in semi-autonomous safety technology into one of the country's fastest growing new vehicle segments when it launches next year.

The New Zealand compact SUV category is growing at around 30% annually and is on track to become the second largest passenger vehicle segment in less than two years based on its current rate of growth.

Coby Duggan, Volvo NZ general manager says that the XC40 will proactively help drivers pedestrians, cyclists and other road users deal with the complex challenges presented by urban living.

Duggan says, “This new SUV has been designed to reduce the cognitive load on the driver, with a range of semi-autonomous safety and driver assistance systems actively identifying and mitigating potential conflicts, helping relieve the constant pressure motorists are subjected to while navigating city roads.

The XC40 is Volvo's first car built with its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) and includes a range of ground-breaking technologies first introduced in its 90 and 60 series siblings which are based on Volvo's larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

Duggan continues, “Volvo's approach to safety and user experience builds on a philosophy it calls the circle of life, a constant improvement of standards and technologies, based on consumer insights and real life data from quantitative and ethnographic research.

Safety and driver assistance features offered on the XC40 include Volvo's semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system, the latest generation of City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with auto brake and the 360-degree camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces.

These and other technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped compact premium SUVs.

Duggan says, “While the starting point for each new Volvo is the most advanced driver assistance systems, the new XC40 also benefits from the high levels of safety and infotainment found in its larger stablemates.

“Volvo has built a convenient everyday user experience based on real-life interaction and research.

“With all screens optimised for a safe, easy and efficient interaction, the XC40 is a car for a generation of consumers that expect full connectivity.

Like the larger XC60 and XC90 SUVs, the XC40 features Volvo's connected Sensus infotainment system, centred around the large, portrait-oriented touch screen.

Volvo has also created space by moving speakers from the door and developing a world-first, air-ventilated sub-woofer, which has helped add enough storage in the XC40's door compartment for a laptop and a tablet.

The vehicle will also feature a space for phones which offers wireless charging as well as the option for USB ports.

A fold-away hook has also been added to the glove compartment, allowing drivers to secure shopping or takeaway bags while on the move.

The Volvo XC40 will launch in New Zealand in the second quarter of 2018.

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