Volvo is beefing up the V40 hatch with the new V40 Cross Country - a rough 'n' ready soft-roader to be shown at the 2012 Paris motor show.
Ring any bells? Cast your mind back to 1997 and the release of the V70 Cross Country, to which the V40 Cross Country owes its existence.
Volvo V40 Cross Country: 'all-road' performance
The V40 Cross Country comes in front- or all-wheel drive formats, topped by the 2.5-litre T5 that’ll churn out 250bhp and pass 0-60mph in six seconds. A 40mm ride height increase is likely to limit on-road performance, but should come in handy should you need to traverse any troublesome countryside on the school run.
Most buyers will pick one of the smaller engines on offer: the 213bhp 2.0-litre or 180bhp 1.6-litre GTDi petrols, or one of the three 2.0-litre turbodiesels in the D2, D3 and D4.
About those rugged looks...
Volvo has donned the usual faux-by-four bodykit - the V40 Cross Country comes with more muscular, sculpted bumpers and skid plates, should you need reminding of the V40’s ‘all-road’ capabilities, or be in the market for a beefier-looking kiddie carrier.
Kerbalicious 19-inch rims will also be available as an option on top-end models.
It's what's on the inside that counts
Inside, once you get past the ‘raw copper’ launch colour, Volvo has equipped the Cross Country with leather upholstery, of which there will be several different colour combinations to choose from, alongside the usual V40 interior options.
Nifty lighting in the cabin can be adjusted to suit the mood, giving the driver a choice of eight settings, while LED lamps highlight strategic areas.
Prices have not yet been announced, but expect to pay a £2000 premium on top of the £20,000 Volvo ask for a base V40. The Cross Country goes on sale in the New Year.
Looks like the quasi 4x4 sector is booming - with Volvo wading into a sector to challenge the BMW X1, VW Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Honda CRV.