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New SUVs, maybe a big coupe for Volvo

Now Chinese owned, Volvo has aggressive new-product plans

Published: June 4, 2012, 12:00 PM

Volvo Concept You

Rumours are flying about new products in the pipeline at Volvo, which is now owned by the Chinese automaker, Geely Automobile.

The most certain of these products is a new XC40 compact CUV/SUV, which is expected to debut at the Paris auto show this fall.

But the company is also said to be working on a next-generation XC90, potentially to be launched in 2014, as a 2015 model. The current XC90, which gets a mild face-lift for 2013, is already 10 years old, having been developed back when Volvo was an integral part of the Ford.

Speculation suggests the new model could share some of the styling elements of the Volvo Concept You sedan unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.

The new XC90 would be the first product of what Volvo calls its Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which is also expected to be the basis for the next generations of S60, V70, XC60 and S80.

It would also employ Volvo's VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engines – a new generation of downsized four-cylinders, both gasoline and diesel, probably turbocharged, that will replace the company's six-cylinder engine range as fuel-consumption requirements tighten.

A plug-in hybrid version is a distinct possibility.

There are also suggestions that the company is considering a further expansion downward in the CUV market, possibly to include an entry-level XC30.

Even further out, there are rumblings about a big luxury sport coupe, potentially dubbed the C90, that would compete with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe and its ilk. Presumably, it would be either have a retractable hardtop or would also spawn a convertible variant.

It, too, would be based on Volvo's Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) shared with the company's other large cars. If it does materialize, don't expect it before 2016 at the earliest.