I’m pretty excited about the new XC40. Volvo’s one of the European underdogs against the well-regarded and popular Germans. Their newest wares under Geely’s ownership have been excellent, and the XC40 looks to continue that trend.

Interestingly, they’ve chosen to ape Land Rover/Range Rover’s contrasting roof feature with a gray roof on the R-Design trim, and an optional white roof (with further optional white mirror caps and white wheels) on the Momentum trim. We’ve seen the contrasting roof echoed by other brands as well, which is further accented by Volvo by having the R-Design trim name set as the line between the rear door and the hatch where the contrast starts; on the Momentum, it looks to just be a roof-colored plastic insert. The contrasting roof is controversial, but it’s not the most controversial part of the car.

That dubious honor would go, in my very humble opinion, to the shape of the rear side window and C-Pillar. It’s not very Volvo, it’s not particularly pleasant, and doesn’t match the rest of the design. I suspect it’s functional for crash/rollover protection, given Volvo’s legendary dedication to safety above all, especially for a smaller vehicle.

That said, I’m a design enthusiast, and I like to reimagine certain designs when I’m not making new ones. For the XC40 I used Paint this time since I don’t have Photoshop on my tablet, so it’s not as polished, but the idea carries through. I also didn’t change the wheels from the original press photo, as my focus was on the rear 3/4 section.


As you may be able to tell, I enlarged the rear door’s sliding window, and instead of a solid C-Pillar, there’s now a window and a D-pillar where the tail lights and crash structure would go.