5:00 PM | January 18 2018

What lies beneath

All future Volvos will be underpinned by just two platforms. We explore the new Compact Modular Architecture that is providing the foundation for a new range of small Volvos.

You could think of it as Volvo’s automotive equivalent of Lego, albeit far more extremely advanced.

Hidden beneath Volvo’s new compact SUV, the XC40, lies the clever building ‘blocks’ that form a flexible and scalable platform called the Compact Modular Architecture.

CMA is a smaller but equally sophisticated version of the Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) that underpins Volvo’s 90-series and 60-series models. While mid-sized and larger Volvos will utilise the SPA platform, CMA will go beyond the XC40 to provide the foundation for a new global compact vehicle range.

The XC40 SUV is already evidence that CMA has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore a bold and daring new direction.

The architecture is designed to fit in with Volvo’s bold new product strategy to feature electrification on all new models from 2019.

It will include the debut of a second Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, featuring a new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission coupled to an electric machine. The small-car range will also include a pure battery electric vehicle, which will be built in China and go on sale in 2019.

The T5 Twin Engine is a front-wheel-drive-based powertrain that follows Volvo’s renowned T8 Twin Engine – an all-wheel-drive set up available in the XC90 and XC60.

Volvo Cars’ president and chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson, noted the importance of the CMA platform vehicles in attracting new customers, as well as contributing to the company’s commitment to sell a million electrified cars by 2025.

“The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.”


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