Volvo wants to build its Range Rover Evoque rival, but the platform is just too big
3 July 2013

Volvo would like to build a bespoke XC40 compact SUV, but any such model is up to five years away, say company sources, becuase there is no suitable platform available.

The Chinese-owned company has designed a bespoke platform, known as the SPA (Scaleable Platform Architecture), which is due to be rolled out late next year under the replacement for the XC90. However, the smallest model based on the SPA is likely to be the next-gen S60.

Volvo insiders say an XC40 would “fit the brand and sell in numbers”. In recent times, the company’s best-selling models have been the XC90 and XC60. With downsizing trends across the world, and the success of models such as the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque, the absence of an XC40 is a significant gap in Volvo’s line-up. Future Cross Country models will simply be rugged versions of existing road cars, whereas XC models will be bespoke SUVs.

More details have also emerged about the engineering behind the SPA. It is constructed in five sections, with the section roughly between the centre of the front wheels and the A-pillars — which carries the engine and transmission — being the same size on all models underpinned by the platform. 

Volvo sources confirmed that the SPA will be able to accommodate both mechanical four-wheel drive and electrically driven rear axles for hybrid versions. The SPA will only take Volvo’s all-new four-cylinder engines. 

Autocar has also learned that Volvo and its owner Geely are preparing to launch a mid-market brand. Geely is positioned as the budget brand and Volvo the global premium nameplate. As yet it is unclear whether the mid-market brand will be for China only or offered globally.

Our Verdict

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

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Comments
11

4 July 2013

Doesn't look to good for the Chinese Volvo brand at the moment. No all-new models for the future and the Ford part's bin special V40 is not the best of sellers at the moment, hardly see any around especially when compared to the Golf which was what it was marketed against.

The above can be added to fact it looks like they've put the begging bowl out looking for new partners for a new small platform over the last few months

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 July 2013

How is the V40 not the best of sellers? I see tonnes of them on the road in Scotland. Last week, when I took a friend to see the XC90 for a family car, the sales person said they have been selling very well for them. No, it is not as popular as the Golf, but it is getting there. Remember Volvo haven't had a hatch back in quite a few years, so they are slowly building their brand perception up with this car.

Anyways, shame the platform is too big. I know Volvo are known for practical big cars, but in a major market where small premium cars and crossovers are where the money is, it seems a little shortsighted.

Personally, I wish Jaguar and Volvo got together to make a platform for small cars. They both need one, and it would help economies of scale if they worked together. The XC40 could be the basis of the next Evoque and Jag crossover, the next V40, and a small baby jag to rival it and the A3/1-Series.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

4 July 2013

JLR don't need Volvo - if they get it right there's plenty of volume in Evoque, Freelander 3, Freelander 3XL and Jaguar's babies.

When Ford's Premium Auto Group (PAG) existed, it was Volvo that always wanted to be different.

4 July 2013

Um, statistics?

Its not very accurate to rely on cars you have seen.  This sense is super biased.  I remember seeing Triumph Acclaims everywhere after my friend got one.  They were relatively rare cars compared to Vauxhall Cavaliers and so forth, yet for a while, I could have sworn there were more Acclaims than Cavaliers on the road.

4 July 2013

winniethewoo wrote:

Um, statistics?

Its not very accurate to rely on cars you have seen.  

Did you see what I was replying to? The person mentioned that they hadn't seen many, so it must be a slow seller. I don't have figures, but In Scotland there are loads (I cover most of it for work), and as mentioned, the dealer said they were selling very well.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

4 July 2013

A bit short sighted of Volvo to rely on SUV sales.  They really need to sack their existing Chassis engineering team (of 4!) and bring in some people able to develop cars that ride and handle properly. How they manage to mangle Ford underpinnings so badly in their existing cars is beyond me.  I would image a Volvo V40  / S60 that handled and rode like a ford focus /mondeo wrapped in premium Scandinavian design and materials would sell quite well.  A Volvo S60 I drove, reminded me most of Chysler 300 I hired in the USA.  Numb, floatly yet hard riding, devoid of feel.  From what I have read, a far cry from the Mondeo on which its based.

4 July 2013

Volvo were in fact leaders in areas of design packaging and safety helping to create the platform that spread across Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Land Rover.

They also did look at scale model concepts around the Evoque style car (New York 2003) as far back as 1999 when created but it was decided to stick to Saloon, Estate, Hatch and Cabrio. Shame as they could have been to market at the same time or before as Land Rover with an evoque style car. History is littered with car sthat should have been

4 July 2013

there mistake for waiting far too long when teh demand has been there for so long.

Logged in as Buy Steroids UK from Facebook.

4 July 2013

Love the peole rubbishing Volvo, look at the figures, they outsold JLR last year, the media love to say how amazing the sales of the wonderful evoque are, but fail to mention the XC60 which has the same underpinnings was only a couple of thousand short of it.

JLR's sales are mainly due to its 4x4/SUV's from Landrover and Rangerover, with Jaguar being the poor relation, Volvo only have 2 SUV's the XC60 and the ancient XC90, but still out sell JLR, meaning they are obviously doing something right. 

The next generation of Volvo designed and built vehicles with Volvo designed and built engines are going to very good, and far better than the Ford derived current range, and with developement on handling and performance being done by Polestar, they will ride and perform far better as well, the future is bright for Volvo.

Yes they need to find a partner for a small range of vehicles, but so what, look at VAG - Skoda/Seat/Audi/VW all sharing the same oily bits, Mercedes are joining Renault, BMW mini engines are designed in conjunction with PSA, Toyota joined PSA for the Aygo, VW tied up with Mitsubishi for the Outlander, partnerships happen all the time, its nothing new, and how long is it taking Jaguar to role out new product, still waiting for the 3 series rival, they have only just got around to making a limited range of XF estates, and that must be due for replacement soon, oh and dont forget until recently the Freelander was only available in America with Volvo's I6 engine, an engine that was originally designed by Volvo for use by Jaguar as well, until Jaguar decided to stick with the poorer, less reliable Ford V6. 

4 July 2013

Citytiger wrote:

The next generation of Volvo designed and built vehicles with Volvo designed and built engines are going to very good, and far better than the Ford derived current range, and with developement on handling and performance being done by Polestar, they will ride and perform far better as well, the future is bright for Volvo.

Lets hope thats true.  I would love to buy a Volvo.  I really like the designs and interiors of the new crop of cars.  Their vehicle safety is also really impressive.  Their crash test results show its much more than just marketing... the new S60 seems to ace every safety test thrown at it... but (imo) it is so horrible to drive... far off from the quality of everything else I have driven, save for that Chrysler 300 I had the misfortune of hiring in the States.

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