The new Volvo XC90 will be the first car to feature SPA technology
The new Volvo XC90 will be the first car in its range that will be built on the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular chassis technology that was developed by Volvo itself.
"SPA and the XC90 are firm evidence of our Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. The XC90's outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 did in 2002," says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group.
The new technology has been in the works for the past four years and is one of the cornerstones of the company's 11 billion transformation plan. It will first be featured in the XC90 and then it will come to other Volvo cars. The benefits of the technology are numerous. First, the flexibility of SPA liberates Volvo's engineers and designers, allowing them to devise and introduce a wide range of new and alluring design features at the same time. There's also improved driveability, world-first safety features, the latest connected car technologies and more interior space. Secondly, SPA will change the way Volvo builds cars in the future by allowing a wide range of cars, powertrains, electrical systems and technologies – all of differing complexity – to be fitted on the same architecture, generating significant economies of scale.
But there's much more to the SPA technology – it reduces weight and improves weight distribution as well as driving pleasure without compromising the ride comfort. SPA also allows for far more flexibility inside the car. The new XC90 features innovatively designed seats that free up interior space for passengers in the second and third rows, helping make the new XC90 a genuine seven-seater. The sliding function on all seats in the second row can be used to create more legroom for passengers in the third row or increase loading capacity. SPA is also able to integrate electrification at all levels without intruding on interior space or load space. Other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, something that Volvo has managed to overcome with SPA. Thanks to SPA it is now easy to integrate new technology within fast-moving areas such as microprocessor, sensor and camera technology. This facilitates the introduction of new accident-preventing safety solutions – and enables rapid introduction of new multimedia and connectivity options. In addition to all this the new XC90 SUV comes for the first time with T-shaped running lights, called "Thor's Hammer" by the design team after the shape of the hammer used by the famous Norse god of thunder Thor.
The new Volvo XC90 will be based on a range of Drive-E engines, all of which provide an excellent combination of performance and fuel efficiency. All the engines are two-liter with four cylinders, but customers will be able to choose between gasoline and diesel engines. The most powerful unit is a two-liter, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged gasoline engine, combined with an electric motor that provides both performance and clean operation. The unit offers around 400 HP (294 kW) with carbon dioxide emissions of just 60 grams per kilometer in NEDC driving cycle.