Scalable Product Architecture

Volvo's SPA system, or Scalable Product Architecture, is a modular chassis system. Volvo spent over 4 years building this new system and you'll see why after checking out the details. The 2016 XC90 was the first Volvo introduced on this platform. SPA was created to better accommodate Volvo's 4-cyliner strategy, its all-wheel drive systems, and the hybrid vehicle battery packs that can be known to take up a bit more space.


Volvo has made significant improvements to protect the occupants of its vehicles. SPA technology tries to prevent accidents from occurring, but also aids those who find themselves in an accident that was inevitable. The original XC90 had a safety cage that was produced with just 7% hot-formed Boron steel. The newly re-designed 2016 XC90 has a safety cage that was produced with over 40% of hot-formed Boron steel. Boron steel is excellent to work with because it adds strength without adding weight or mass to the vehicle.


SPA includes new electrical improvements that enhance the vehicle's intelligence, which make it easier to add new functions, and introduce other technologies. Scalable Product Architecture is made up of a network with 4 primary domains:

  • Infotainment
  • Safety
  • Car Body
  • Vehicle Dynamics

These 4 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 vehicle with SPA technology are supported through the vehicle's ability to absorb energy in different types of collisions. Regular safety features such as seat belts, pre-tensioners, whiplash protection systems, airbags, and inflatable curtains are frequently updated also for the occupants' safety. SPA also offers a rear-impact detection and works to tighten seat belts before a crash.

2) Sophisticated Strength: The new safety cage is created with usage of a number of different steel grades that work together to form the most effective cage yet. The steel cage of SPA vehicles was made stronger and smarter. It is stronger because there is more Boron steel incorporated into it, and smarter because the steel does not add weight or mass in order to be strong.

3) Crash Avoidance: Camera, radar, and sensors are able to detect many objects, and they do so very quickly. Volvo recognized an area that so greatly needed to be addressed because they found that unintentional road departure is the cause of most deaths and serious injuries in current traffic. Volvo was also the creators of a large animal detection and auto-braking system.

4) Enhancing the Driving Experience: Sensors in the collision avoiding solutions are part of the vast range of features that make driving a Volvo more enjoyable. Volvo does its best to make the drive less stressful for the driver because they believe that will lead to a more relaxing venture. New models all come equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist. This is another first for Volvo on the re-designed 2016 XC90. With this technology, Volvos will automatically follow the vehicle ahead of itself when it is moving in slow traffic. SPA will also make autonomous driving a reality in the near future!

5) Seeing Around the Corner: Volvo's infrastructure extends the driver's theoretical field of vision with Car2Car and Car2Infrastructure programs. They make it possible to obtain vital information like conditions of the road, advanced warnings, detour options to avoid traffic, and then can even help you find free parking.

6) Always in Touch with the World: Being connected is very important, but can sometimes be distracting while driving. Volvo is thrilled to announce its semi-autonomous and autonomous driving cars to its customers so that they can travel, while safely focusing on something else. The company's goal is of course that no one will be seriously hurt or injured in a Volvo by 2020.


For more information on SPA, please visit us at one of our stores in Meredith, Concord, or Nashua. You can also reach us at 603-689-1851 with any questions.

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