Volvo continues its new model offensive with the soon-to-be-launched S90. However, the Swedish manufacturer has just showcased a brand new platform that could form the basis of two very important new products for the brand.
It’s no secret that the new XC90 has been the beginning of a new resurgence for Volvo as a luxury car manufacturer. With the benefits of a brand-new platform (the Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA in short) paired with a focus on efficiency and environment friendly powertrain options, along with a sharp and bold design language, the XC90 has really taken the fancy of customers the world over. Even in India the car has been in high demand. No doubt, it has also been helped by the Supreme Court ban on diesel engines larger than 2,000cc, but that notwithstanding the new SUV is a groundbreaking product for the brand. Similarly, the expectation from the upcoming S90 sedan are even higher – given the high bar that the XC90 has set.
Given the success of their design as well as their engineering direction with the SPA platform, it comes as no surprise that Volvo has just revealed what is going to be their second platform for future vehicles – the CMA or Compact Modular Architecture. Another clean sheet design, the CMA platform will offer a couple of firsts for the Swedish brand when it goes into production in 2017 – which includes their first ever pure-electric production vehicle. But, more importantly, with demand in the compact-SUV segment exploding the world over, the new platform will allow Volvo to produce their first–ever competitor in that segment – the new XC40 SUV – competing with the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the Mercedes GLA.
In a recent preview at their Gothenburg headquarters, the company exhibited two concept vehicles – the Concept 40.1 and Concept 40.2. The 40.1 gives us a close look at what the new XC40 SUV will look like, with its high stance and sharp lines – and one can expect the production vehicle to look pretty close to the concept when it hits the market next year. Additionally, with the benefit of the new platform, the car will offer different powertrain options featuring pure electric, plug-in hybrid and conventional internal combustion options. The platform will be mainly front-wheel drive, with the option of a mechanical all-wheel drive version.
However, the final word on the 40.2 concept is not clear as yet. According to the brand, they are still evaluating if they should be doing a smaller version of a sedan with increased ground clearance – much like its bigger S60 Cross Country sibling – but a final decision is still pending. But one fact is amply clear, with their focus on environmentally friendly products and attractive design, it truly seems as though the Vikings are resurgent once again and readying to take on the Germans in full force.
The CMA platform will allow Volvo to make their first-ever electric only vehicle
Also read: Volvo S60 Cross Country Review: First Drive