It’s not clear when it will surface, but Volvo’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, has confirmed the company is working on a new crossover that will be smaller than today’s XC40.
The Volvo boss told AutoExpress Volvo couldn’t shrink the XC40‘s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) to fit a smaller vehicle, so the new EV will be based on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) being developed by parent Geely.
All of Volvo’s vehicles smaller than the XC40 will be based on SEA.
He noted, “SEA has been developed in China, and with Chinese suppliers you get a very good cost structure”. Cost is no doubt an important consideration given the car’s size, and the fact it will come with expensive lithium-ion batteries.
It’s possible the styling of the “very premium” Volvo’s crossover “top hat” will stray from crossover convention.
In the interview, Samuelsson said, “I think the SUVs in the future might not be exactly as SUVs are today. Ground clearance and off-roading capability are probably not the most important things now.”
Samuelsson wouldn’t be drawn on what the new crossover will be called, but did indicate it will be “in line with customers’ expectations”. The company has registered trademarks for XC10 and XC20.
Naming might depend on how much smaller the new car is compared to the XC40, which measures 4425mm long, 1863mm wide, 1652mm tall, and rides on a 2702mm wheelbase.
SEA made its debut recently under the Lynk & Co Zero concept, and is a dedicated electric car platform. It features batteries mounted below the floor, and can house up to three electric motors.
The architecture also supports an internal combustion engine operating as a battery range extender.