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Volvo’s New Vehicle Architecture to Allow for Lighter Vehicles, More Innovative Designs

September 23, 2011

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – Volvo revealed more information about its recently announced strategy for future vehicle development.

Volvo said there are several platforms within the automaker’s new joint SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture), which are groups of cars that share the same basic chassis structure, seat frame, electrical system, and driveline. These platforms are the basis for groups of complete car models. For example, the Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 form one cluster.

"SPA gives us a fresh technological start. When the first SPA model is launched in a few years' time, about 90 percent of its components will be new and unique,” said Peter Mertens, senior vice president research and development at Volvo. “What is more, we're raising the bar when it comes to quality and technology level in every area. We will be fully on a par with the very toughest competitors.”

Volvo said its SPA approach will allow the automaker to build vehicles that are 220 lbs. to 330 lbs. (100 to 150 kg) lighter than current models of the same size. The new architecture enables electrification at all levels, Volvo stated, from start/stop technology to pure electric drive, without impacting available interior space and load space. The new electrical architecture enables all future multimedia and connectivity solutions and it forms the backbone for inclusion of more technologically advanced safety systems.

Other advantages of the new architecture include the ability to design vehicles with more “attractive design proportions” while reducing aerodynamic drag. Also, the automaker said the new platform reduces design limitations, such as those related to wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height, and vehicle front end.

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