The new SPA platform, Volvo has determined, is too large for a Range Rover Evoque-size XC40.
Volvo's 2015 XC90, which will debut late next year, will be the first vehicle built on the Swedish automaker's all-new modular, scalable vehicle platform internally referred to as SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture).
Despite underpinning cars like the 2015 XC90 and the next-gen S60, the SPA platform will only support Volvo's new generation of four-cylinder engines, which were designed in-house by Volvo in the last few years. Volvo has decided, however, the platform is too large for a Range Rover Evoque fighting XC40.
Volvo isn't giving up on the model; it's simply delaying the car for at least the next five years. A XC40 would "fit the brand and sell in numbers" a Volvo insider told Autocar. In the future the 'Cross Country' moniker will be added to more rugged versions of current cars while the 'XC' prefix will be saved for bespoke SUVs.
Though a four-cylinder-only platform might seem restrictive, Volvo has designed the new modular framework to support mechanical four-wheel drive as well as hybrid-based four-wheel drive with the two rear wheels driven independently by electric motors.
Geely, the Chinese company that owns Volvo, has plans for a new mid-range brand that would fit between the China-only Geely car brand and the top-range Volvo brand. No word, however, on whether this mid-level offshoot would be offered outside of China.