'Most important Volvo for 20 years' - First drive
"The V40 is the most important Volvo for 20 years," says Duncan Forrester, Volvo UK's outgoing media boss.
Forrester is off to Sweden to take up a role as Global Director of Social Media, so it seems fitting that his last car launch is for a car that Volvo has a lot riding on.
There's a case to say that the new V40 - Volvo's new C-segment hatch going up against the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and VW Golf - is the first new car to have been conceived of and brought to production since the Swedish manufacturer was bought by Chinese Geely.
While the V40 uses the Ford Focus platform - and several Ford powertrains - there is very much a sense that the V40 is a Volvo, largely through design and engineering.
The V40 heavily resembles the S60 and V60 execs - the first models that represented Volvo's new design language from the front and evolves that design through to the rear.
Inside the car offers and understated yet elegant ambiance - the frameless rear-view mirror is a touchstone for how the car marries technology and design. And the technology is formidable. It becomes clear with every successive car that Volvo is drip-feeding technology into its cars that are paving the way for its driverless car.
The SARTRE Project, which Volvo is part of, aims to make platoons of cars that follow one another without direct input from a driver possible - and there's plenty of Volvo technology on the V40 that are designed to make it a reality.
Adaptive cruise control, city safety and lane departure systems are all elements that could make driverless car, with all the safety, fuel and congestion benefits that such a technology would mean, possible within a decade.
The V40 also pushes Volvo forward towards its aim that no-one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.
The V40 gets a driver's knee airbag and boasts a world first - a pedestrian airbag that will inflate in an accident to prevent a pedestrian's head from striking the engine block under the bonnet or impacting against the windscreen.
The V40 is a very clever car - and it's a very good car. But, perhaps most importantly of all, it's a very Volvo car. It's brilliant at the things that Volvos are known for and, while there are hangovers from Volvo's partnership with Ford, this is a very Geely car too.