VOLVO has revealed a pair of concept cars – named the 40 series – unveiling an all-new conventional, hybrid and electric-friendly platform that it will share with Chinese owner Geely.
The platform, dubbed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), will underpin a new generation of small premium cars that will start rolling out globally next year before arriving in Australia by early 2018.
Volvo hasn’t said what that first car will be, but it teased concept versions of a small SUV and sedan, both spun off the new platform. The carmaker says the CMA platform was “specially created for smaller cars and which has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions”.
“Each member of our product family has its own distinct character, just like the members of a real family,” Volvo design senior vice-president Thomas Ingenlath said.
“CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars,” he said.
“They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out amongst the crowd. This is the flavour of small Volvos to come.”
The new platform joins Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform for larger cars, launched last year underneath the XC90 large SUV that will soon add a T5 “Twin Engine” plug-in hybrid version to its Australian line-up.
Similar to its larger cars, Volvo has flagged the small car range will include a pure battery electric vehicle as well as Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain variants. Volvo has also teased that the upcoming S90 large sedan, also based on the SPA platform, is also expected to roll out a Polestar-fettled version.
The Swedish carmaker has previously flagged it will not spin off a battery-fuelled version of its larger SPA platform until about 2019.
Volvo said the Twin Engine drivetrain, based on a new three-cylinder petrol engine paired with a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission and an electric motor, would allow it to pass over all-wheel-drive options in favour of “more accessible front wheel-based system for ... smaller cars”.
Volvo’s parent company, Geely, will also spin off its own cars based on the CMA architecture, media reports said.
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!