Volvo outlines future electrification, small cars
Volvo Cars has offered several insights into an ambitious two-prong strategy involving wider electrification efforts globally and the development of a new generation of small vehicles using this cleaner and more efficient drivetrain technology.
Calling it the industry's most comprehensive electrification strategy, Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, said plug-in hybrids will be introduced across the automaker's range and a full EV model will be on sale by 2019. The first new plug-ins will include the upcoming S60 and premium S90 sedan lines. Like the already launched XC90 SUV, they'll be spun from Volvo's existing Scalable Product Architecture and also use a version of the XC90's T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive system as well as introduce a new front-drive Twin Engine setup. "We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream," noted Samuelsson. "We are confident that by 2020, 10 percent of Volvo's global sales will be electrified cars.
Thinking big about small cars
With fuel economy requirements destined to play a greater role in determining what vehicles will be heading to showrooms in the years ahead, Volvo also said it will be expanding its range of small cars into more segments based on the introduction of a new Compact Modular Architecture. Sharing much of the flexibility and advanced design found in the larger Scalable Product Architecture, this new CMA platform will be compatible with both conventional and plug-in hybrid technology, including a Twin Engine version designed especially for this application. It also opens up new design possibilities while advancing the automaker's vision of having no deaths or injuries occur in any of its new cars by 2020.
"The flexibility of CMA liberates Volvo's engineers and designers, allowing them to devise and introduce a wide range of new and alluring features while at the same time improving drivability, offering world-class safety features and connected car technologies," said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group. The first of these new CMA-based models is set to launch in 2017 and may well be the next-gen 40-Series featuring S40 Sedan and V40 Wagon models as well as a compact XC40 crossover. By adopting this two-platform strategy, Volvo intends to increase its overall economies of scale while its raising annual global sales to some 800,000 units, up from the current 500,000+ figure.
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