Volvo's new V40 model will feature a new kind of airbag that covers the front of the car in a collision with a pedestrian.
The Swedish automaker said the new V40, which will be officially unveiled at the Geneva auto show March 6, will have a range of new safety and driver-assistance technologies, including Volvo's Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, lane keeping assistance with haptic auto steering and a novel Park Assist Pilot.
The model's City Safety low-speed collision avoidance system will operate at speeds of up to 50 km/hour.
Volvo said the pedestrian airbag system is a world first.
European carmakers, including Volvo, have adapted the designs of their cars to meet new Europe-wide pedestrian safety rules issued by the European Commission. Changes include more space between a car's hood and the engine block and alterations to the shape of the hood to reduce the severity of collisions with pedestrians.
"The all-new V40 is the most intelligent and safe Volvo model so far," said Hakan Abrahamsson, program manager for the V40.
The V40, which will be built in Ghent, Belgium, starting in May will be powered by a range of engines, including a diesel with CO2 emissions of 94 grams/km and a turbocharged T5 gasoline engine that accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds. All engine versions feature start-stop and brake energy regeneration.
Volvo aims to sell 90,000 units a year of the V40, with 85 pc of the total going to European markets.
A teaser video for the V40 produced by Volvo can be seen here: volvo v40 2012.automotiveIT