Baltimore, Maryland, United States
In two weeks' time, we'll be boarding a flight for Stockholm for the live reveal of the new Volvo XC90. But before we do, Volvo has revealed another round of salient details regarding not only its new crossover, but a whole range of new vehicles to share its architecture.
That platform is called Scalable Product Architecture, and it follows the latest industry trend towards modular platforms. The product of four years' development, the new platform uses high-strength boron steel to optimize weight and rigidity. The scalable architecture, set to underpin the next-generation S60, V60, XC60, S80 and anything larger, offers designers more flexibility in terms of proportions. It can be adapted to a wide range of vehicles of different shapes and sizes, designed from the get-go to incorporate a range of powertrains (including the XC90's new twin-charged hybrid system) and all the latest safety technologies you'd expect from a Volvo.
The XC90, Volvo has revealed, will also offer increased interior flexibility, with movable second and third rows to optimize cargo space and legroom as needed. That third row is designed to accommodate children (or small adults) up to five-foot-seven. Meanwhile the image inset above gives us our first glimpse at the new XC90's styling, with T-shaped running lights inspired by Thor's hammer.
Wed, 30 Apr 2014 07:57:00 EST
It would seem Volvo is finally getting around to throwing all of Ford's things out of the apartment. Automotive News reports the Swedish automaker is preparing to unleash a range of new engines as well as a fresh platform designed entirely in house. The powerplants include an all-new four-cylinder engine set to bow before the end of this year before arriving in the US by 2014. Shortly thereafter, the world should get its first glimpse at the next-generation XC60, which will the company's first model to make use of the Volvo scalable platform architecture (SPA). US buyers can expect to see that machine on their roads by early 2015.
The next V70 and S80 will also use the SPA, though those models will carry V90 and S90 designations when they hit dealer floors. But that doesn't mean Volvo has completely weened itself off of Ford technology. The V40 will continue to ride on Ford bones until the model's next chassis can be co-developed between Volvo and Geely.
This year Honda Yuasa Racing brought a station wagon back to the ranks of competitors in the British Touring Car Championship (its drivers currently sit in third and fifth place in the Championship). In 1994, however, Volvo was the first team to run an estate in the series that's one of the best for delivering close racing.
Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers drove the duo of 850 Estates prepped by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, lining up at Thruxton and proving that the rumors of a wagon in the series weren't a joke. The team used that year for development, getting the 2.0-liter, 290-horsepower, naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine ready for the next year's proper assault. The team's best finish over the 21 races was a fifth place, and they took 14th overall.
Rules changes led Volvo to switch to the 850 sedan the following year, but all the right noises had been made with the wagon. Rydell drive on to a third-place overall finish in 1995, three years later he claimed the Championship title. You'll find details and reminiscing from Rydell in the press release below, as well as the full video with scenes from the glory days.