The carmaker possesses a platform for a small premium SUV and looks close to launching a range of three-cylinder engines.

A small crossover, called the XC20, is in the works. It will be positioned beneath the upcoming XC40 and will take on cars such as Audi’s Q2.

Volvo’s head of R&D, Henrik Green, said, “It’s not a problem to have an XC20. The CMA platform can be made smaller.” What he is referring to is the new Compact Modular Architecture small car platform that the company is co-developing with Geely for the XC40, the next-generation V40 and sister brand Lynk&Co.

The hatchback C-segment, which the V40 competes in, is the largest in Europe. The rise in popularity of SUVs and crossovers is also being closely studied by the manufacturer. Sales of small SUVs are expected to exceed two million by 2018, according to forecaster LMC Automotive. Audi’s recently launched Q2 is currently the only premium car in this segment, the rest are from mainstream manufacturers.

Apart from possessing a broadly suitable platform, Volvo also has an appropriate range of powertrains to go with the car - its new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged version of the Drive-E four-cylinder engine is “almost ready”, said Green.

“It can go in any vehicle in the range (including the XC90), so it’s a marketing decision on which models to fit it to,” he said. The engine is capable of producing well over 152hp in its most powerful avatar. Volvo is also developing additional electrified drivetrains.

“We’re looking at broad solutions that are affordable,” said Green. These and a growing range of SUVs should enable Volvo to get closer to the 800,000 annual sales that it’s targeting for 2020.

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