As the first car in its range to be built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular chassis technology, developed in-house over the past four years, there’s a lot riding on it.
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, improving driveability, by introducing world-first safety features, offering the latest connected car technologies and creating more interior space.
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.
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 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 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).
But certainly the biggest talking point is, 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.