Scalable Product Architecture

The Volvo SPA system, formally known as Scalable Product Architecture, is a modular chassis system that was in development for over four years. The newly re-designed Volvo XC90 was the first vehicle in Volvo's lineup to be built on the SPA system. SPA was developed to better accommodate its 4-cylinder strategy, the all-wheel drive system, and the hybrid battery packs that tend to take up a bit more space.




Using SPA, Volvo has made big improvements to protect all occupants in a vehicle. SPA helps to prevent crashes from occurring, and assists occupants in the event that an accident is inevitable. The first generation XC90 was built using 7% hot-formed Boron steel, whereas the new 2016 XC90 uses over 40% of hot-formed Boron steel to create its safety cage. This ingredient is a great addition because it provides strength to the steel cage without making weight or mass a problem.





SPA also includes new electrical advancements that heighten the vehicle's intelligence level, which make it easier to add sophisticated functions, and introduce new technology. This new electrical architecture is made up of a network with 4 key domains which are:

  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Car Body
  • Infotainment

All 4 of these domains can be connected to every unit in the new architecture, which is something that is unique to the industry.




Benefits of Spa Technology


1) Embracing the Driver: All occupants of a SPA vehicle are supported with the vehicle's ability to absorb energy in different types of collisions. Regular safety technologies such as safety belts, pre-tensioners, whiplash protection systems, airbags, and inflatable curtains are frequently being updated. SPA provides smart belt pre-tension systems to increase security before a collision. There is also a rear-facing system that detects an impact from behind. Safety belts are tightened in advance to keep all passengers safe.

2) Sophisticated Strength: Volvo's new safety cage is created with a mixture of different steel grades and it has been made to be stronger and smarter. The strength of the cage was improved through the implementation of using much more Boron steel.

3) Crash Avoidance: Camera, radar, and sensor technologies are now detecting more objects quicker. Volvo recognized the need for this technology because unintentional road departure is what causes the most deaths and serious injuries in current traffic. Another new technology that Volvo invented is the detection and auto-braking for large animals.

4) Enhancing the Driving Experience: The sensors in the collision-avoiding solutions are part of the extended range of features that make your drive more enjoyable. Volvo believes that when the driver is removed from stressful driving situations, they will be able to enjoy themselves more while driving. All new models now offer Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist, with it initially being introduced on the 2016 Volvo XC90. This means that Volvos automatically follow the vehicle ahead of them in slow moving traffic. SPA will be what one day makes self-driving cars a reality.

5) Seeing Around the Corner: Your Volvo's infrastructure extends the driver's theoretical field of vision with Car2Car and Car2Infrastructure technology. It makes it possible to obtain information such as road conditions, advance warnings, detour options to avoid traffic, and even help you find free parking.

6) Always in Touch with the World: We all want to be constantly connected, even when we're driving. Phones and other technology can certainly become a distraction while driving. Volvo is excited to introduce semi-autonomous and autonomous driving cars to its customers so that they can get where they need to be while safely focusing on something else. Volvo's ultimate goal is that no one will be seriously hurt or injured in a Volvo by 2020.


For more information, please visit us at one of our 3 store locations, in Concord, Meredith, or Nashua, or give us a call at 603-689-1851.

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