Chinese media speculates Volvo XC20 is back on the table, to ride on Geely Icon’s BMA platform

News of the Volvo XC20 has been doing rounds since 2017 (when one Volvo officer remarked that if a smaller range is approved it would make that a 20 Series) but the model never came into being. Now, the XC20 is back in the news and this time it could become a reality with the help of an architecture that is supporting Geely vehicles, as per information published on several Chinese media portals.

In 2019, there were reports of a smaller SUV (below the XC40) in the works to mark the first model of the Volvo 20 series. While the XC90, XC60 and XC40 have proven successful, Volvo is now looking to introduce a B-segment SUV, with the focus on global markets and electrification. Where the Germans rivals have built-up no less than 6 crossover-SUV models each, Volvo has 3. It used to be active in the entry segment with the V40 Cross Country, a pseudo-SUV that was based on a Ford-developed platform, but the complete V40 Series was discontinued last year.

In terms of size, the XC20 will compete with the Audi Q2, which measures 4.19 m in length with a 2.60 m wheelbase.

Geely’s BMA platform is highly flexible with EVs to follow

Reports say that the XC20 would be built on Geely’s BMA platform, which already underpins cars like the Icon crossover, Bin Rui sedan and BinYue hybrid crossover. Earlier, the plans were to develop the XC20 on Volvo’s flexible CMA platform but by adopting the cheaper BMA platform, Volvo can save on development costs and share components too. The BMA platform allows different body types to be developed in A and B segments including crossovers and can support IC engines and hybrid powertrains. One would expect the interior with the typical Scandinavian sophistication, functional storage spaces and the new Android-based operating system.

Geely Icon BMA platform

During the technology announcement in 2018, Geely said that the development of BMA was a four year effort by around 100 modular architecture experts from over 20 countries based in Geely’s R&D center in Hangzhou Bay. The BMA architecture is a collection of power, electrical, chassis, and body modules which can be clubbed like building blocks to create a variety of vehicles. Any vehicle shape from sedans to crossovers to MPV’s to SUV’s is possible on the BMA and new vehicle development time shrinks to 18-24 months.

Geely confirmed that the BMA supports different power options including Geely’s 1.0TD, 1.4T, 1.5TD, as well as hybrid powertrain systems such as PHEV, HEV and MHEV.

Reports suggest that the XC20 will get 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbo petrol engines along with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The Chinese media expects hybrid and perhaps fully electric ‘Recharge’ version for the XC20, as Volvo is committed to EVs. ElectricVehicleWeb learns that pure electric cars on the BMA platform will come and the company has also said that the platform is developed with “future electrification” in mind.

XC20 & C40 crossovers could drive conquest sales for Volvo

For the XC20 Recharge, to keep the project cost from exploding, Volvo could opt for a single motor setup unlike the XC40 Recharge that gets two electric motors for an all-wheel-drive layout. Volvo would be looking at a smaller capacity battery when compared to XC40 Recharge’s 78 kWh pack. A battery pack, ranging around 50 kWh capacity and a range of 350 km should be competitive. There is another possibility where Volvo could borrow the electric powertrain from the Emgrand EV, which is offered in two options – 41 kWh and 52 kWh, returning a range of 300 km and 400 km (NEDC) respectively, though unlikely.

If it comes to fruition, XC20 (in the Recharge version) would help Volvo’s goal of generating 50 per cent of its global sales from fully electric cars by 2025 and no doubt this would be good for conquest sales. The company’s other crossover is the Volvo C40, a coupe-style XC40 that will arrive in a pure electric form.