Some of the more outlandish and futuristic elements of the concept will be toned down for production – the four freestanding seats, for example. However, the skateboard-style architecture will offer new levels of interior space and flexibility, which concept designer Robin Page likened to a “Scandinavian living room feel”. To that end, the production car will ditch the physical controls for a cleaner, simpler driving environment. Most functions will be controlled via a large central touchscreen using Google-developed operating software – as first adopted by the XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2.
However, Volvo’s next SUV won’t be as easily categorized as an SUV because, although it sits high off the ground and emphasizes all-around visibility like the current car, it has a more upright two-box silhouette that recalls station wagons such as the 240, 940 and Volvo V70, which were once among the most important and best-selling models of the Swedish brand. Company boss Håkan Samuelsson recently told Autocar that Volvo would gradually reduce its offering of conventional station wagons – currently comprising various forms of the Volvo V60 and Volvo V90 – in recognition of the simple fact that “people really like the seated positions high”.
The successor to the XC90 will therefore straddle the line between two segments to capitalize on the popularity of SUVs while differentiating itself from its rivals and avoiding alienating buyers of lower models. Page called it “a new type of vehicle”, which “features new and modern proportions that go hand in hand with increased versatility” – hinting at the potential for other Volvo models to follow suit by mixing elements design of different segments.
Volvo remains cautious about the details of the new car’s powertrain offering, but the company’s widely publicized efforts to cut emissions across its range means that all combustion variants will feature some form of electrification, whether mild hybrids or plug-in hybrids. Diesel will not be offered at all. It remains an option on some Volvo models but will be phased out as the brand’s range is refreshed.
The electric variant, meanwhile, could usher in entirely new powertrain configurations distinct from those offered on the CMA-based XC40, C40 and Polestar 2 electric vehicles, while four-wheel drive will most likely be standard, given its high SUV billing. Volvo will offer a choice of battery sizes on its new electric vehicles, giving buyers the option of standard and long-range versions, the latter capable of traveling up to 310 miles between charges.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-28 08:35:00