GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Volvos from the S40 compact on down to smaller sizes will share a new platform, the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), with new models from parent company Geely Automobiles. The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker, Volvo Car Group, made plans of the platform under development in Sweden official Thursday as it was rolling out details of the brand’s larger premium models here. The new Volvo XC90 launched recently is the first model off of Volvo’s SPA, or Scalable Product Architecture.
SPA will spawn a new S90 luxury sedan and other body variants, including a station wagon, within the next couple of years, as key components of Volvo’s renaissance in the U.S. and globally. The front-drive-based transverse-engine platform with a rear-wheel-drive dash-to-axle body proportions also will underpin the next-generation S60 and XC60 models, though nothing smaller. SPA will be exclusive to the Volvo brand. It features variable dimensions for every portion of the length of the vehicle, except for the space between the front axle and the “heel point” – the location of the throttle and brake pedals on the floor of the interior.
For the Volvo S40 and its body variants on down, the CMA platform (a smaller version of SPA) is being developed in Sweden, but will be shared with new Chinese Geely models. The first Volvo car built on the CMA platform will launch in 2017. The U.S. market can expect such Volvo variants as an XC40 compact crossover, though no models smaller than that, such as the C30 range that will be sold elsewhere. The architecture will give Geely credibility if it chooses to enter Western markets, including North America and Western Europe.
Volvo says CMA will use both conventional gasoline and plug-in hybrid powertrains used in SPA vehicles, as well as infotainment, climate control, data network, and safety systems. All future Volvo models for the foreseeable future will built on one of these two platforms.
Volvo has stated that all its new models going forward will come with engines with no of more than four cylinders. That includes SPA models, which will be powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines, and it will include available plug-in hybrid powertrains. Volvo and Geely CMA models are expected to come with three- and four-cylinder engines.
Volvo began development of its SPA architecture while under Ford Motor Company ownership about 2008, though the global recession slowed efforts. Ford sold Volvo to Geely in 2010, after which Volvo and Geely began plans to develop the CMA platform.