Volvo Announces It Will Have Huge Castings While Possibly Showing the Embla

Volvo’s future flagship will not be called XC90 anymore. As we told our readers in November 2021, it will very likely be named Embla. The Swedish carmaker may have given us the best glimpse yet on the new electric SUV when it announced a massive investment in Torslanda. Part of this money will provide its “next generation of fully electric cars” with huge cast parts.
Volvo's massive casting for the rear body structure – possibly for the Embla 12 photos
Photo: Volvo
Volvo's factory in Torslanda, which will get investments to produce EVsVolvo Recharge ConceptDie-casting press for Volvo's future cast partsVolvo's body-in-white for the XC90 successor, the EmblaIs this the Recharge Concept of the new Volvo Embla?Volvo's electric skateboard for its future EVsVolvo believes massive castings will give it multiple advantagesVolvo's massive casting for the rear body structure – possibly for the EmblaVolvo's massive casting for the rear body structure – possibly for the EmblaDie-casting press for Volvo's future cast partsVolvo's massive casting for the rear body structure – possibly for the Embla
Volvo said it would put SEK10 billion ($1,093 billion) in its largest factory. We have no idea how much will be reserved for the die-casting presses. However, the company said it would also invest in “a new battery assembly plant and fully refurbished paint and final assembly shops.”

The Swedish carmaker is the latest one to have bought Tesla’s idea of “mega castings:” it even refers to them the same way the American EV maker does. Volkswagen, NIO, Xpeng, and Mercedes-Benz will follow the same path. Asked about these cast parts, Oliver Zipse denied BMW would ever use them. The company’s CEO said BMW sees “much more efficient ways to build a car body.”

What Tesla presented and other companies liked was a die-casting method that eliminated the need for heat treatment. That sped up the manufacturing process. In Volvo’s case, the large casting is ready to use after cooling down and going through quality check and some laser cutting. On the other hand, it could make repairs more costly if these castings are affected in a crash, for example.

Volvo presented at least one of its vast cast parts. It is used to replace the entire rear body structure. The released images show it standing alone and also inside the vehicle that will first use it. While it looks like the Recharge Concept, we bet that this is actually the production version of the Embla, which will be really close to the concept vehicle.

What plays against that possibility is the fact that the Embla will be produced in Ridgeville along with the Polestar 3. If this car uses massive cast parts, that should also happen in the American factory. In that case, the Embla/Recharge Concept may have only been used to allow the casting presentation.

This hypothesis would not make much sense, especially considering that the Polestar 3 and the Embla will have Volvo’s new platform, the SPA2. If this architecture is to get these giant cast parts, it may start doing so from the very beginning.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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