Company bosses reveal plans for Volvo's revitalisation, which hinges on more distinctive model families

Volvo bosses plan to build up to nine models on its new SPA platform. The announcement was made at the secret Arctic Circke unveiling of the all-new XC90, where company officials also revealed the company’s longer-distance product strategy.

As well as the nine SPA-based models, the definition between Volvo’s three model families has been made much clearer.

The future 40-series — which will be around 4.56m long — will be billed as ‘fun-to-drive’ cars. The next-generation 60-series will be ‘dynamic’ — a nod to the domination of this class by the BMW 3-series — and the 90-series cars will be marketed as ‘sophisticated’.

Within those three model pillars, there will be a saloon, hatch/estate and SUV models. Volvo further defines the saloons as ‘elegant’, the V (‘versatile’) models as ‘elegant and functional’ and the three XC models as having ‘refined strength’. 

According to Volvo’s own figures, the SPA platform can be stretched to an overall length of 5.07m, making a full-size limousine a possibility, something the boss of Volvo’s Chinese owner, Geely, is keen to see for its home market.

After a decade and a half of pushing distinctively Scandinavian design — a philosophy that was intended to make Volvo clearly distinct from the German opposition — the company is now moving towards a greater sense of refinement in its design language. 

The heavy sections, rounded shoulders and ‘draped’ sides that have been seen on all new Volvos since the 1998 S80 have been replaced by a much more finely detailed and polished approach. This is visible not only on the exteriors but also on the interiors, where the traditionally chunky switchgear has been junked in favour of touchscreen controls. 

Our Verdict

Volvo XC90 2003-2014

The Volvo XC90 is a big seven seat SUV in desperate need of modernisation, despite still having some strengths

Join the debate


16 April 2014
Touchscreen controls? Why!!! When you are driving, you need tactile feedback from controls, not to use some embedded tablet computer!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune