"It could be a very interesting alternative if you want to have the advantage of an SUV, but maybe don't need that really big luggage compartment," Samuelsson said. "I don't buy a refrigerator every day, but it's big enough for the golf clubs."
The dual-motor C40 is developed on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture platform. The diminutive crossover is powered by a 78-kilowatt-hour battery that delivers an EPA-estimated 210 miles on a full charge.
The battery can be fast charged to 80 percent in about 40 minutes, Volvo said.
The Belgium-built C40 is the first Volvo designed without a conventional grille and introduces a new front fascia design that includes headlights with pixel technology.
The rear of the C40 features a reworked taillight design to go with the lower roofline. The C40 is the first Volvo model to be leather-free.
While the C40 shares a platform with the XC40 Recharge P8, the two vehicles are targeted at different markets, Volvo Retail Advisory Board Chairman Ernie Norcross said.
The C40 is billed as a conquest vehicle aimed at millennials. It targets the "consumer who wants a sedan feel but also wants utility," Norcross said.
But the appetite for a 200-mile compact EV in the U.S. could be limited. Volvo anticipates selling about 8,000 a year, dealers were told last year.
U.S. deliveries of the C40 begin early next year.
Douglas A. Bolduc of Automotive News Europe contributed to this report.