The first-ever XC40 was previewed by the 40.1 concept.

Volvo will launch the first-ever XC40 at the Shanghai Auto Show, according to Chinese media outlets.The XC40 will be positioned at the bottom of Volvo's crossover lineup. Visually, it will borrow more than a few styling cues from the close-to-production 40.1 concept (pictured) that debuted last year in Gothenburg, Sweden. The overall design will be toned down, but key elements such as the muscular-looking front end, the upswept belt line, and the L-shaped tail lamps will be retained for production.

The XC40 will usher in Volvo's new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a platform that will underpin several compact Volvo and Geely models in the coming years. It will also inaugurate the company's new turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine.

A four-cylinder engine and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain will round out the list of powertrain options, according to Car News China. Front-wheel drive will come standard, and all-wheel drive will be offered at an extra cost. Buyers in Europe will have access to at least one diesel engine, though the oil-burner will not be sold on our shores.

We'll learn more about Volvo's upcoming compact crossover in March at the Geneva Auto Show. Regardless of when it breaks cover, the XC40 is expected to arrive in showrooms in time for the 2018 model year.

What's next?

As of writing, it's too early to tell whether the 40.2 concept that was presented alongside the 40.1 at Volvo headquarters last year will spawn a production model. During the event, a company spokesperson told Leftlane that the 40.2 simply explores new possibilities while showcasing the CMA platform's flexibility.