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by Tim Beissmann

Volvo has confirmed its all-new Volkswagen Golf-fighting premium small car will be called the Volvo V40.

The revelation came as Volvo launched a countdown to the car’s unveiling at next month’s Geneva motor show, which will take place in 21 days’ time.

The countdown on Volvo’s Facebook page is accompanied by a new teaser image of the V40 five-door hatchback and a quirky new video encouraging viewers to “be one of a kind”.

The V40 takes the Swedish brand into new territory, with Volvo setting its sights on the Golf, Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

The V40 hatch will replace the ageing Volvo S40 sedan and V50 wagon and sit above the smaller C30 coupe. It is set to go on sale in Australia early in 2013.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports there will be three fuel efficient four-cylinder engines available: a 1.6-litre petrol with approximate tunes of 90kW, 110kW and 135kW; and two diesel units of 1.6- and 2.0-litre displacements.

Spy photos and an earlier teaser image in December gave us a good idea of what to expect from the V40’s styling. It will share much with the larger S60/V60 duo, incorporating a prominent grille, wraparound headlights, a tapered roofline and C-pillar-hugging taillights.

The Volvo V40 will launch in Australia with a sub-$40,000 price tag and is expected to become the brand’s top-selling model. Last year, Volvo Australia sold 168 S40 sedans and 115 V50 wagons, around half their 2010 sales results. Combined S40/V50 sales hit just 25 in January, while Volkswagen registered 1051 Golf sales, BMW sold 143 1-Series hatches and Audi sold 128 A3 five-doors.




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