New Volvo XC60 to gain estate styling and EV option

The Volvo XC90 will be replaced by an electric version of the best-selling car in the company’s lineup.

The all-new, all electric and vital successor to the Volvo XC60 is one of the key models that Volvo’s EV assault has been working on. For the past four years, the SUV has been the most-sold car by the Swedish brand.

The XC60 Recharge electric SUV will fill the gap between the XC40 and long-awaited XC90 replacement SUV. This will help Volvo reach its ultimate goal of total electrification by 2030.

Volvo’s worldwide sales were 6.5% EVs last year, its best ever record. However, the Swedish company plans to increase that number to 50% by 2025 to eliminate combustion completely by 2030. Volvo will continue to be a leader among the ‘legacy’ manufacturers competing against Tesla by introducing EVs quickly and investing heavily in production facilities.

The BMW iX3 competitor will be the first car powered by Northvolt batteries, a joint venture between Volvo and Northvolt. Northvolt is currently building a new factory in Sweden to produce 50GWh of battery capacity annually.

This will power 500,000 cars annually, or more than two-thirds the current output of Volvo.

Volvo will purchase batteries from Northvolt’s existing facility to replace the XC60 before that factory opens. This rate is 15GWh per year starting.

Volvo will likely keep the XC60’s current combustion-engined XC60 on sale alongside the new EV due to its popularity.

It has also strongly suggested that the EV would use the same SPA2 architecture of the XC90 successor. This allows for pure-electric or hybrid drivetrains and opens up the possibility of hybrid and electric versions sharing the same design. These clues were provided by Concept Recharge last summer.

Hakan Samuelsson, outgoing Volvo CEO, stated: “Our concept car gives a hint of what could be on the same platform,” suggesting smaller entries to this range will have the same minimalist estate-aping silhouette as the larger models and place more emphasis on space and functionality.

Volvo has recently made it clear that it will be replacing its older, lower-slung estates and making its SUVs more traditional two-box shapes. This will bring all its models closer together design-wise.

Volvo’s biggest-selling model, the Volvo XC40 and Volvo XC90 respectively, will be available in a pure-electric version. CFO BjornAnnwall explained that this is partly due to the cars’ life spans.

He stated that the XC90 was launched prior to the XC60. As we considered upgrading the XC90 we decided “let’s make it fully-electric.”

This will allow the XC60’s electrification to be done as economically as possible.

Annwall stated that there is continuous improvement in the technology used for each car. This makes it even more important to have a cost-competitive situation with the XC60. It is easier to do this if it happens a bit later.

Annwall stated that the XC90’s successors will have to share the same powertrain, battery and construction. However, the small electric SUV will be equipped with high-level connectivity and autonomous functions via Luminar lidar sensors and Nvidia’s “autonomous driving machine”.

Volvo will benefit from the collision-avoidance capabilities of this technology. These updates will be made over-the-air and will allow it to achieve its goal of eliminating fatal accidents. The new technology will allow for the integration of a Highway Pilot function, which allows autonomous driving on motorways that permit it.