Its expected name also gives away its size.
Although sales for sedans like the Volvo S60 and S90 are not the strongest these days, popularity for its SUVs has never been higher. The Volvo XC40 and larger XC60 and XC90 are proving to be formidable competitors in their respective luxury SUV segments. Meanwhile, the XC40's all-electric sibling, the XC40 Recharge, Volvo's first-ever pure electric SUV, has just entered production. So where does Volvo go from here, aside from regular model cycle redesigns? Well, it appears it's going smaller and all-electric.
According to Auto Express, Volvo has decided its next SUV will be an all battery-electric even smaller than the XC40. More than likely, it'll be called the XC20, a nameplate the firm has already trademarked.
Speaking to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson at this year's Beijing Auto Show, he confirmed the smaller XC20 EV SUV will be one of Volvo's first vehicle to ride on a new dedicated pure-electric platform developed by parent company Geely. The Chinese-owned Geely bought Volvo from Ford back in 2010 and has very successfully turned it into a major luxury player.
As for that new platform, dubbed Sustainable Experience Architecture (SAE), Samuelsson acknowledged it'll serve as the new SUV's basis instead of the XC40's architecture. "We will also use SEA," Samuelsson said.
"We'll use it for a smaller car, where I think it's very practical and smart for us to share that, so we can have a cost structure for a smaller car that's very competitive. It's difficult to push the CMA platform [the XC40's chassis], which is a combination platform for EVs and combustion-engined cars, further down. So if you want to do a smaller car than XC40 then SEA can do it. We will use it for that."
Samuelsson has previously been clear he believes a small vehicle can easily be premium, especially for Europe. Whether this will work for the US remains unclear because buyers here typically equate high price tags to larger vehicles. No specific timetable has been announced for the XC20's launch, but given Volvo's plan for half its sales volume to be EVs by 2025, a launch date is probably around two years away.