The automotive world is only a few months away from getting its first real glimpse at Volvo's big gamble with the unveiling of the next-generation XC90 (pictured above as the Concept XC Coupe). We're already getting a preview of the revolutionary upgrades with the introduction of the Swede's Volvo Engine Architecture family into some of its 2015 models, like the recently driven S60. These changes are just the start, though. The real magic could be in the powertrains.
Dean Shaw, Volvo Cars North America vice president of corporate communications hinted to Autoblog a few months ago that every model sold in the US could come in a plug-in hybrid variant, starting with the new XC90. Despite confirmation rumors that this has now come to pass, Shaw told AutoblogGreen that the only thing Volvo is confirming right now is that the platform is capable of that. "We haven't confirmed that all US Volvos would be available with PHEV," he said.
Shaw did confirm that that XC90 will come with a gas and plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers "around 400 horsepower." According to Plugin Cars, the new XC90 will be unveiled in August and will make its public debut at an as-yet-unnamed auto show in the fall. Also, sometime during the 2016 model year, a plug-in hybrid variant will be added to its lineup.
Shaw previously told us that the new crossover will go on sale in the US in the first quarter of 2015, as the first vehicle on Volvo's new Scalable Product Architecture modular platform. Eventually that chassis will underpin most of the company's models.
Both VEA and SPA were designed from the beginning to support hybridization. The platform even has a specific area near the transmission tunnel to store batteries. According to the report the plug-ins will offer best-in-segment fuel economy for each model, even the seven-seater XC90.
Volvo is definitely making some serious green promises about its future, but the company is investing over $11 billion to engineer SPA and VEA.