Brief Analysis: The Volvo Scalable Product Architecture, and 2016 XC90

Today Volvo has revealed more details about the upcoming 2016 XC90. This time the information is focusing on the SUV’s architecture framework.

Starting from the 2016 XC90, most of the Volvo’s next-generation vehicles will be based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Within the SPA framework, only one thing is fixed: the distance between the front axle and the engine compartment firewall; Other than that, all other parameters are completely flexible, as shown in the bellow illustration.


Of course, the SPA is a front-wheel-drive layout.

One thing you may not notice: the SPA-based 2016 XC90, is using a transverse leaf spring for the rear suspension. This type of suspension is rarely used in modern cars, currently another famous usage case is the Chevrolet Corvette. This design has advantages such as less unsprung weight, less weight, lower weight center etc., but it requires complicated design process to achieve optimum mechanical properties. In the below image, the transverse leaf spring is highlighted in yellow.


As shown in the below image, the 2016 XC90 is using double-wishbone structure for the front suspension.


Although the front suspension is majorly made with aluminum, the 2016 XC90 front sub-frame is using steel only, not an aluminum one. Considering it is for utility purpose (not a sports car), this is acceptable.


The rear suspension of the 2016 XC90 can also be configured to using traditional springs .


Or, the XC90 can be optioned with an air spring suspension system. Of course, with the air spring, the transverse leaf spring is deleted for the rear suspension.


Although the SPA platform is based on the FWD layout, it can also fit an AWD system.


At last, Volvo also showed us the front light with the daytime running light on.


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