Sweden – The Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) has been developed by the OEM in-house over the past four years as a mainstay of its $11 billion transformation plan. Following its debut with the XC90, the modular chassis technology will be rolled out across the Volvo product range.
According to the OEM, there are two key benefits to the SPA: flexibility in design and engineering; and economies of scale in production. The architecture removes previous design limitations in areas such as the wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height and height of the front line. The chassis technology additionally both reduces weight and improves its distribution, according to Volvo.
The SPA also gives more flexibility within the interior; the XC90 features what Volvo calls “innovatively designed seats” which leave more space for passengers. In addition, Volvo says the SPA can accommodate electrification “at all levels” without intruding on either interior or load space. Meanwhile, high-strength boron steel is used to boost passenger safety.
In production, the SPA will enable all Volvo models from the 60-cluster upwards to be built on the same production line, regardless of complexity.
“SPA gives us a fresh technological start. Around 90% of the components in the all-new XC90 and upcoming models are new and unique,” said Peter Mertens, senior vice-president, R&D, Volvo Car Group. “We are raising the bar to the very top of the premium league when it comes to quality and technology level in every vital area.”