Automakers have become more savvy in ways to save money, and one way is sharing platforms between otherwise-unrelated vehicles. Volkswagen has gained notoriety in recent years for its platform-sharing developments, and now Volvo is set to do the same. Volvo’s upcoming shared platform, which is known as the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), is set to make its debut as the underpinning for the all-new XC90 that will bow in Stockholm, Sweden in just two weeks.
This SPA platform allows Volvo the flexibility to use it in a number of cars and SUVs with varying capacities, sizes, electrical systems and even drivetrains. This will ultimately allow Volvo to share costs across what may end up being its entire lineup, barring any major changes in Volvo’s product line in the future.
The SPA platform allows for various wheelbases, overhangs and ride heights, and it even allows the automaker to fine-tune the front-end height. This platform is also better balanced to help Volvo vehicles get closer to the ideal 50/50 balance from front to rear, and it is lighter than previous platforms.
In the XC90, the SPA platform affords it the ability to carry seven passengers comfortably without growing too much in size. Helping out with third-row comfort in the XC90 — always a thorn in the side of three-row crossovers — are innovative sliding second-row seats that give enough room for adults up to 5’7″ to ride in the back row with relative comfort.
The SPA underpinning also gives the new XC90 the agility closer to that of a sedan, allowing the handling to better match the 316-horsepower T6 engine and 400-horsepower T8 plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The latter drivetrain is the most noteworthy, as it features a one supercharged, 2.0-liter engine; one turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine; and an electric motor to produce these 400 ponies, while reducing CO2 emissions to just 60 g/km.
With the announcement of the new platform under the XC90, Volvo has also released a new teaser image (above) of the unique “Thor’s Hammer” running lights that the new XC90 will come with. This will likely become the new signature running-light design for all Volvo models, so look for this striking pattern to make its way across the Volvo lineup moving forward.
There will be tons more details to report on once the XC90 makes its debut, so stick around.