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Volvo has outlined a future platform and engine plan after its break-away from Ford ownership

Volvo has outlined a radical future platform and engine plan after its break-away from Ford ownership. It includes a new modular platform that can underpin anything from a C30 to an S80 and a new range of highly efficient four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

See pics of the Concept Universe - a hint at Volvo's future direction

The new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) will allow future Volvos to be up to 150kg lighter than the model they replace, with all models – regardless of size - being able to be built on the same production line due to their modularity. Chinese-owned Volvo claims SPA also allows for improved weight distribution and better driving dynamics, as well as incorporating a common electrical and safety architecture for all models.

The Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA) direct-injection petrol and common-rail diesel engines spells the end for five- and six-cylinder-engined Volvos. The Swedish firm says the new engines will produce less CO2 and offer up to 35 per cent better fuel economy than current like-for-like engines, with performance greater than current six-cylinder units.

VEA engines are also up to 90kg lighter than present units and some will be offered with hybrid technology, including an innovative flywheel hybrid system that offers 80bhp more power and 20 per cent better economy.

Volvo will unveil a new concept car at this month’s Frankfurt motor show that will be based around the new SPA philosophy.

The Concept Universe model unveiled at the Shanghai motor show earlier this year was the first indication of the company’s future direction under Chinese ownership.

Mark Tisshaw

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