Volvo has confirmed its future small car offerings will be built on a unique-to-Volvo scalable platform dubbed the Compact Modular Achitecture (CMA), itself based on the larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that underpins the XC90 and soon-to-be S90.
The first model to receive the CMA platform has yet to be announced, but Volvo has announced that the platform will make its production debut in 2017.
The current V40 hatch will still have some life in it by that point, but a revival of the S40 small sedan - a model that has been missing from the Volvo line-up since 2012 - could well be the foundation model for the CMA platform
The present-generation Volvo V40 small hatch (below) utilises the Ford Global C platform, a hangover from when Volvo was part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group.
Volvo plans to transition all of its models to either the CMA or SPA platforms within the next four years, meaning we can expect to see a new V40, V40 Cross Country, S60, V60, V70, XC60 and XC70 all debut before 2019.
New models could also be spun off either platform, with Volvo hinting that the CMA platform could take it "into exciting new product segments".
And while the CMA and SPA platforms will differ slightly, most powertrains will be common (including Volvo's incoming plug-in hybrid powertrains), as will infotainment hardware and electronic architectures.
The CMA platform has also been specifically designed around a Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variant, essentially a scaled-down version of the petrol-electric hybrid offered in the XC90 T8.
Safety systems, a Volvo strength, will be modular and easily transferrable between platforms as well.
Cost savings will be the biggest benefit to Volvo, with engineering and tooling costs being spread out over multiple models.
With floorplans being modular and easily scalable to different wheelbases, track widths and powertrain configurations, development times for new models should also be shorter.
The end game for Volvo is to have a broad range of vehicles that cost less and take less effort to build, which should help the Swedish brand hit its goal of selling over 800,000 cars globally by the end of the decade.
“CMA is a key part of the continued growth strategy of the Volvo Cars brand,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President of Sales Marketing.
“Apart from offering all the benefits and features of a larger premium car, such as the industry-leading safety, powertrain and infotainment technologies, CMA will deliver a true and distinctive Volvo driving and ownership experience setting it apart from others in this growing premium segment.”
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