Volvo XC20: smaller SEA-based electric SUV planned?

True to its “SUV company” aspirations, Volvo won’t just be adding a flagship XC100 SUV, but it could also introduce a subcompact SUV to slot beneath the XC40.

This model, dubbed the XC20 by AutoExpress, will reportedly be among the first Volvo-branded cars to be based on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform. SEA, a platform created for pure electric vehicles, was developed by Geely and was just recently announced at the Beijing Auto Show.

Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson said his engineers are already working on models based on the SEA platform. “We will also use SEA. 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, 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 added.

Last year, he said small cars can also be premium. In his on words: “Just because you have a small suit, it doesn’t have to be polyester.” With SEA, he said it’s possible to build a very premium Volvo, and that it will be done together with Geely.

“We’re cooperating on this. We developed CMA in Gothenburg, although it was financed jointly. But SEA has been developed in China, and with Chinese suppliers you get a very good cost structure. But with a Volvo top hat on,” he noted.

So, the baby Volvo SUV will be premium, and should be all-electric as well. Samuelsson said ground clearance and off-roading capability are probably not the most important things that people will be looking for in future SUVs, so this should give the new car an interesting design profile.

Volvo has already trademarked several XC names, including XC10 and XC20. Samuelsson did not reveal a specific badge for the new compact SUV just yet, but he said “let’s just see what it will be called. But it will be a car that’s definitely in line with customers’ expectations.” It’s unclear when Volvo will release the concept, but the company is aggressively expanding its Recharge electric car portfolio.