Here’s why a Volvo XC100 isn’t part of the company’s product plans

Update (March 20, 2024): ‘Volvo Cars’ electrification strategy’ section revised.

Beginning around 2019, media reports began speculating that an all-new Volvo luxury crossover was to be announced under the name Volvo XC100. Global publications suggested that the Swedish automaker was planning to employ its SPA2 platform to generate the 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’ electrification strategy has no place for an XC100

The Swedish carmaker confirmed in an announcement on March 2, 2021, that it plans to become a fully EV-only company by 2030, taking aim at Tesla.

2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge side profile
Volvo’s commitment to becoming an EV-only brand by 2030 rules out the introduction of new combustion models like an XC100. Pictured is the 2024 Volvo XC90 Recharge.

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 a stop-gap measure in this transition.

Despite some companies revising their EV goals due to slowing demand, Volvo Cars is doubling down on its pursuit to cease selling all internal combustion engine (ICE) models and become an exclusively EV brand by 2030. The company will discontinue diesel car production by April 2024 and has already stopped investments in new combustion engines. In 2023, EVs represented 16 percent of Volvo’s worldwide sales, making up 113,419 units of a total of 708,716 units.

Official teaser has no sign of the Volvo XC100

Mid decade Volvo Electric car portfolio
Volvo’s mid-decade electric portfolio teaser, released in March 2021, shows a large vehicle (bottom corner) which we now know as the company’s first electric MPV/Minivan, the EM90, targeting China. Image: Volvo Cars

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, the Zeekr 009-based Volvo EM90. Both MPVs have been developed for China, and are on sale, 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!

Volvo’s self-imposed deadline makes the XC100 look unrealistic

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 around 7 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 XC100 & Volvo pickup truck still on U.S. dealer wishlist

Nevertheless, 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 truck 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)