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by Tim Beissmann

Images and details of the Volvo V40 Cross Country have appeared online ahead of the high-riding, rugged-looking compact hatchback’s premiere at next week’s Paris motor show.

Previously expected to be called the XC40, the official images, which appeared on Greek enthusiast website 4troxoi, reveal the off-road-themed small car will wear ‘V40’ badges and feature a ‘Cross Country’ stamp on the rear metal scuff plate.

The Volvo V40 Cross Country is expected to be an intermediary between the urban-styled Volvo V40 hatch and the rumoured Volvo XC40, which will be spun off the V40 platform with its own more capable SUV layout similar to the larger XC60.

The V40 Cross Country reportedly sits 40mm higher than the standard V40, and is garnished with harder-wearing grey plastic panels and silver metal scuff plates on the front and rear bumpers and along the side skirts.

A honeycomb mesh grille, black and brown alloy wheels, black mirror caps and silver roof rails contribute to the V40 Cross Country’s tougher exterior.

The cabin appears essentially the same as the V40, but scores some bespoke trim highlights including a brown centre console fascia and special black and cream leather seats with brown stitching.

Reports suggest the Volvo V40 Cross Country will be available overseas with the same powertrains as the standard hatchback with the exception of the entry-level T3 petrol engine. Headlining the V40’s diesel line-up is the 130kW/400Nm 2.0-litre D5, while the 187kW/370Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder T5 rules the petrol roost.

Front-wheel drive will be the standard layout, with all-paw grip believed to be offered only on the high-grade variants. Those V40 Cross Country models equipped with all-wheel drive are also set to feature hill hold and hill descent control functions for enhanced off-road ability.

The standard Volvo V40 range is set to arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2013 headlined by the recently revealed Volvo V40 R-Design, and while Volvo Australia is yet to announce any plans to bring the V40 Cross Country to our shores, CarAdvice understands the local division is keen to add the rugged hatch to its line-up in the not-too-distant future.

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