Volvo bosses plan to build up to nine models on its new SPA platform. The announcement was made at the secret Arctic Circle unveiling of the all-new XC90, where company officials also revealed the company’s long-distance product strategy.
As well as the nine SPA-based models, the definition between Volvo’s three model families has been made much clearer. The future 40-series — which will be around 4.56 metres long — will be billed as ‘fun-to-drive’ cars. The next-generation 60-series will be ‘dynamic’ — a nod to the domination of this class by the BMW 3-series — and the 90-series cars will be marketed as ‘sophisticated’. Within those three model pillars, there will be sedan, hatch/estate and SUV models. Volvo further defines the sedans as ‘elegant’, the V (‘versatile’) models as ‘elegant and functional’ and the three XC models as having ‘refined strength’.
According to Volvo’s own figures, the SPA platform can be stretched to an overall length of 5.07 metres, making a full-size limousine a possibility, something the boss of Volvo’s Chinese owner, Geely, is keen to see for its home market.
After a decade and a half of pushing distinctively Scandinavian design — a philosophy that was intended to make Volvo clearly distinct from the German opposition — the company is now moving towards a greater sense of refinement in its design language. The heavy sections, rounded shoulders and ‘draped’ sides that have been seen on all new Volvos since the 1998 S80 have been replaced by a much more finely detailed and polished approach. This is visible not only on the exteriors but also on the interiors, where the traditionally chunky switchgear has been junked in favour of touchscreen controls.