Update: ‘Volvo XC100 & Volvo electric pickup truck on U.S. dealer wishlist’ section added.
Beginning around 2019, media reports started speculating that an all-new Volvo luxury crossover was to be announced under the name Volvo XC100. It was also suggested that the Swedish automaker was planning to use its SPA2 platform for this new model, hinting at the possibility of it being a purely electric offering. Almost four years on, could Volvo really be working on such a project? Well, read our story to find out.
Volvo Cars’ electrification strategy
The Swedish carmaker has confirmed in a March 2, 2021 press release its plans to become a fully EV-only company by 2030, taking aim at Tesla. Volvo hopes half of its worldwide sales by 2025 will be fully-electric models, with the remainder expected to comprise hybrid models. Volvo’s electrification strategy further entails all cars from its portfolio to be only EVs by the year 2030. The brand also stated that all its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models will bear the ‘Recharge’ name, making it evident that the Swedish brand’s focus has shifted towards an all-electric future – partially electrified models will be just a stop-gap measure during the transition period.
Official company teaser shows no sign of the Volvo XC100
In the above-mentioned press release, Volvo shared a teaser for its planned mid-decade releases, consisting of 7 different pure-electric models. All the rumors up to this point regarding the Volvo XC100 point towards it being a luxury SUV. However, looking at Volvo’s official teaser, the only large silhouette there belongs to the brand’s first-ever all-electric MPV (bottom right), which will be based on the Zeekr 009. The 009, and the future Swedish derivative, are apparently developed for the Chinese market, where electrified minivans are booming in popularity, thanks to China’s new three-child policy.
‘EX’ branding to dominate the future Volvo lineup
Evidenced by its absence in the company’s official teaser, we are confident that the rumored model is not an official project. Moreover, Volvo now uses the ‘EX’ branding for all its pure-electric models – leaving little room for the Volvo XC100 – if at all it ever transpires!
Hardly enough time for a new ICE launch with Volvo’s self-imposed deadline
Even with spy photographers on the constant lookout, there have been no sightings of a large Swedish SUV. Taking into account the fact that the usual lifecycle of a Volvo model is 7-8 years and Volvo’s decision to stop sales of combustion-powered vehicles at the end of the decade, if there was a full-size SUV in the pipeline, it should have shown up by now in cold weather testing, or in Chinese cities, sporting camouflage.
Volvo will not offer combustion models starting 2030
Henrik Green, former Head of Advanced Technology & Sustainability at Volvo Car Group, mentioned in the aforementioned press release that the company does not see a future for cars powered by the internal combustion engine (ICE). Citing customer demand and its pledge towards fighting climate change, the automaker will completely drop conventional combustion powertrains from its portfolio, with no new ICE models expected later this decade. However, Volvo should continue updating the XC60 & XC90 SUVs with facelifts and mechanical upgrades in due course, as an abrupt end to these well-received products would have serious repercussions on its business.
Volvo XC100 & Volvo electric pickup truck on U.S. dealer wishlist
In an interview with Automotive News in January 2023, Volvo Retail Advisory Board Chairman Ernie Norcross suggested American Volvo dealers want to sell more regional models. A full-size SUV like the XC100 would be a perfect fit, offering high-profit margins despite lower volumes compared to existing large Volvos.
When asked which models are missing in the line-up, Norcross said that there is demand for a Tahoe-sized SUV for larger families. The company “has gone quiet” about the XC100, Norcross added, revealing there’s indeed an information vacuum for this model. He stated an electric pickup as well, saying there is a “crazy” demand for them and that he’d like Volvo Cars to try entering that category.
Featured image: Volvo Cars (EX90 teaser)