It's been a little over two years since Ford Motor Co. sold Volvo to China's Geely Automobile, but the Swedes are still relying on the Blue Oval's platforms and engines. Even the new V40, which we initially expected to use the brand's own hardware, is in fact based on a Ford architecture.
All this will begin to change from late next year when Volvo introduces the long awaited successor to its popular XC90 SUV, as it will be the first model in the range to use the company's all-new scalable platform architecture (SPA), which was announced in 2011 through the "You Concept" sedan.
Speaking to journalists attending the presentation of the facelifted S60, V60 and XC60, and S80, V80 and XC70 at Volvo's global headquarters, Volvo's R&D boss Peter Martens said that after the SUV, the SPA will find its way under the replacements for the S70 and V80, called the S90 and V90 respectively, and possibly a new coupe model.
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson pointed out that the development of the SPA is an important move, as it will allow the company to compete against bigger premium carmakers without breaking the bank.
"Modularity means independence, but also the opposite," he said, according to Autonews Europe. "If you are independent you have to try to find economy of scale another way."
Along with the SPA, Volvo will also introduce its own engines, all of which will have a maximum of four cylinders, according to Martens, who said, "The time of counting cylinders is over".
Much like the BMW Group's new generation of turbocharged powerplants, Volvo's engines will be modular allowing diesel and gasoline units to share up to 40 percent of parts, with each cylinder's capacity locked at "just under" 500.
According to the report, the diesels will produce from 120hp to 230hp, and the gasoline units, from 140hp to 280hp, with all engines being up to 15 percent more fuel efficient than Volvo's current range. Volvo added that if more power is needed, it will use electrification (aka hybrids) to boost output.