Volvo’s plan to push forward with an expansion of crossovers in its line-up appears to be on track as rumours of a model slotting in under the XC40 have surfaced. The compact crossover will be one of the first cars to use Volvo's new pure-electric Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) developed in conjunction with parent firm Geely.
According to Auto Express, Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson confirms that the firm's engineers are working to develop a product using SEA underpinnings. This platform was revealed under the guise of Lynk & Co’s Zero concept at the Beijing Auto Show not too long ago.
“We will also use SEA,” Samuelsson said. “We’ll use it for a smaller car, where I think it’s very practical and smart for us to share that, so we can have a cost structure for a smaller car that’s very competitive. It’s difficult to push the CMA platform [the XC40’s chassis], which is a combination platform for EVs and combustion-engined cars, further down. So if you want to do a smaller car than XC40 then SEA can do it. We will use it for that.”
Samuelsson says that thanks to Geely’s investment into SEA, the possibility of making a premium compact SUV of this size bodes well.
“We’ll do it together with Geely, so it’s very natural. We’re cooperating on this. We developed CMA in Gothenberg, although it was financed jointly. But SEA has been developed in China, and with Chinese suppliers you get a very good cost structure. But with a Volvo top hat on.”
Using this platform, it’s confirmed that the new entry to the line-up will be fully electric. Consequently, ground clearance and off-roading capabilities will not be of importance in the new car's development.
Samuelsson was unable to give a time frame for the compact SUV but did confirm that it will be one of the cars that aid Volvo in filling half of its sales volumes with pure EVs by 2025.
Furthermore, Samuelsson hinted that a new 40-series model, designed with electromobility in mind, has been planned for 2021.