In two weeks' time, we'll be boarding a flight for Stockholm for the live reveal of the new Volvo XC90. But before we do, Volvo has revealed another round of salient details regarding not only its new crossover, but a whole range of new vehicles to share its architecture.

Volvo XC90 headlightThat platform is called Scalable Product Architecture, and it follows the latest industry trend towards modular platforms. The product of four years' development, the new platform uses high-strength boron steel to optimize weight and rigidity. The scalable architecture, set to underpin the next-generation S60, V60, XC60, S80 and anything larger, offers designers more flexibility in terms of proportions. It can be adapted to a wide range of vehicles of different shapes and sizes, designed from the get-go to incorporate a range of powertrains (including the XC90's new twin-charged hybrid system) and all the latest safety technologies you'd expect from a Volvo.

The XC90, Volvo has revealed, will also offer increased interior flexibility, with movable second and third rows to optimize cargo space and legroom as needed. That third row is designed to accommodate children (or small adults) up to five-foot-seven. Meanwhile the image inset above gives us our first glimpse at the new XC90's styling, with T-shaped running lights inspired by Thor's hammer.
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ALL-NEW XC90 WILL BE THE FIRST VOLVO BUILT ON THE COMPANY'S NEW SCALABLE PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE

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

SPA has been under in-house development at Volvo for the past four years and is the cornerstone of the company's ongoing USD 11bn transformation plan. It will be introduced with the all-new XC90 and then rolled out across the product range in future.

The benefits of SPA are twofold. 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 as improving driveability, introducing world-first safety features, offering the latest connected car technologies and creating more interior space.

"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.

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.

"SPA gives us a fresh technological start. Around 90 per cent of the components in the all-new XC90 and upcoming models are new and unique. We are raising the bar to the very top of the premium league when it comes to quality and technology level in every vital area," says Dr Mertens.

Liberating technology

More freedom for designers

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

"This has created greater freedom for us to design cars with a confident stance, dynamic proportions and a number of distinctive design signatures. Our three recent concept cars have demonstrated this capability. Even though the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognise the connection instantly when it is revealed in two weeks," says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

Outstanding driving pleasure and flexibility

The new SPA chassis technology reduces weight and improves weight distribution, improving driving pleasure without compromising on 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 to increase loading capacity. The seats in the third row offer class-leading comfort for passengers up to 170 cm tall.

"SPA has enabled us to create the world's first no-compromise SUV," says Dr Mertens. "You get the agility of a much smaller and lower car, an in-command feel and generous interior space, plus an adrenaline rush delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and low emissions. Of course, it carries the Volvo badge, meaning world-class safety is standard."

Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency

The new XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency. This 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 XC90 '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 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle).

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.

Improved safety without compromises

SPA helps make it possible for Volvo to bolster the company's world-leading reputation for safety without compromising on design, size or weight. Thanks to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel, SPA cars can be made more compact and safer at the same time.

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 rapid introduction of new multimedia and connectivity options.

"We have created a single nerve system with full control over all the connections in the vehicle. This is unique in the industry," says Dr Mertens.

Industrial benefits

In addition to the significant product-related advantages of the scalable architecture there are also industrial benefits.

SPA allows Volvo to develop a model range consisting of cars based on the same joint modules and interfaces, scalable systems and components and built in a flexible production system. This means all Volvo models from the 60-cluster upwards can be built on the same production line irrespective of complexity.

The new face of Volvo: 'Thor's Hammer' running lights

Today, for the first time, Volvo is revealing images of the front end or 'face' of the new XC90 SUV, 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 Thor.

"Anyone who looks in their rear-view mirror is going to know immediately that there is a new XC90 behind them," says Mr Ingenlath. "The XC90 is a car that has presence on the road."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Omniwar
      • 4 Months Ago

      Styling cues from Norse mythology are always a plus!

      neilyadig
      • 4 Months Ago

      ready for Volvo to knock it out of the park with this one.

      hokkaido76
      • 4 Months Ago

      And the curse of the non-existent 3rd row footwell strikes again...........

        FriscoKid
        • 4 Months Ago
        @hokkaido76

        I am hoping it is just the point of view that makes it look like that, as in there is structural components on the sides but not where the feet go. Two more weeks and we will find out either way...

      comintheusa
      • 4 Months Ago

      So Autoblog, who picks up the tab for your little jaunt to Stockholm?  You know, full disclosure and all.

      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago

      Nice double wishbone suspension.

      mikeybyte1
      • 4 Months Ago

      I hope S.H.I.E.L.D switches from using Acura MDXs to the new XC90 in the upcoming Thor 3: Ragnarok! 

      Koenigsegg
      • 4 Months Ago

      Why is there an engine and not free space in the front? oh wait this isnt the Model X haha

      Hernan
      • 4 Months Ago
      Third row designed for kids and adults up to 5'7 is very disappointing. I hope regular adults can fit back there even if not super comfortable.
        BipDBo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Hernan

        It's their way of getting you back into the dealership.  They know that in a few years, your kids will grow, and they'll complain until you come back and buy something bigger.  Likely in a few years, the XC90 will have a roomier 3rd row.

      Larry Litmanen
      • 4 Months Ago

      I was thinking, once cars become autonomous and there's no need for steering wheel and all that, front seat could be moved so much that even a midsize car will be able to accommodate 3 rows.

        Koenigsegg
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen

        Screw autonomous, steering wheel forever, no point in owning a car if you cant drive it

      carguy1701
      • 4 Months Ago

      Interesting.  Sadly, the cars will be forgettable.

      Carlos Cruz
      • 4 Months Ago

      This reminds me a little too much of VW's MQB.... not that it's a bad thing.

      Ron McCord
      • 4 Months Ago

      I like what volvo is doing, I really considered a xc60 before getting my lexus sedan. The next gen xc60 should be interesting and the volvo sedans just need a little more design, perhaps a character line or two added to make them a little less vanilla and I would be interested in 2 years when My lease is up with mpg a high priority. The new C class looks expensive, make your cars look expensive but are not is a good idea

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