Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
21 Aug 2014
2:00 pm

Volvo XC90, a new breed

Citizen Reporter

Volvo's all-new XC90, which will be revealed in two weeks' time in Stockholm, will be the first car in its range built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular chassis technology developed in-house by Volvo Cars.

New and alluring design features, improved driveability and world-first safety innovations

This revolutionary platform will be introduced on the all-new Volvo XC90 and then rolled out across the Volvo’s future product range. It will feature a new “face”, which is distinguished by its T-shaped running lights, christened ‘Thor’s Hammer’ by the design team after the shape of the hammer used by the famous Norse god of thunder.

The benefits of SPA are twofold. First, SPA allows Volvo’s engineers and designers a lot more freedom and flexibility so they can increase their scope when it comes to new and alluring design features and, at the same time, improve driveability, introducing world-first safety features, the latest connected-car technologies and creating more interior space.


Secondly, SPA will change the way Volvo builds cars 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.

With SPA, previous design limitations in areas such as wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height and the height of the front are a thing of the past.

Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice-president design of the Volvo Car Group says: “This creates greater freedom to design cars with a confident stance, dynamic proportions and distinctive design signatures. Our three recent concept cars have demonstrated this capability. Even though the all-new Volvo XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognise the connection instantly.”

The all-new Volvo XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options. A modular family of two-litre, four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines has several levels of turbocharging to cover the whole range from high power and torque variants to fuel-efficient versions.

The top-of-the-range Volvo XC90 T8 ‘Twin Engine’ combines a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation – around 290kW and 630Nm of torque with carbon dioxide emissions of around 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).


SPA is also able to integrate electrification at all levels without intruding on interior or load space. SPA also includes an innovative electrical architecture that elevates the car’s intelligence level significantly. It is designed to make it 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 introduction of new multimedia and connectivity options.

There are also industrial benefits. SPA allows Volvo to develop a model range of cars based on the same joint modules and interfaces, scalable systems and components that are all built on a flexible production line.

This means all Volvo models from the 60-cluster upwards can be built on the same production line, irrespective of complexity.

SPA technology is a game-changer:

> With Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), previous design limitations in areas such as wheelbase, overhand, vehicle height and the height of the front are a thing of the past.

> 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 but Volvo has overcome this with SPA.