Volvo has confirmed that it will launch a new XC90 in 2014, some 13 years after the original first went into production.
The new luxury SUV will be the first model built on the new SPA (Scaleable Platform Architecture) that will underpin the next generation of its S60, V70, XC60 and S80 models.
The new XC90 will also use Volvo’s new generation of downsized, four-cylinder VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engines, all of which will be available in petrol and diesel forms.
The company recently released a series of teaser renderings of the next XC90, each distinctly different. The boldest of these features the wide grille design that made its debut on the Concept Universe saloon at the 2011 Shanghai motor show shortly after Volvo was bought by Geely.
The other designs included a rakish, elegantly wedged XC90, together with two more evolutionary proposals. There is no clue yet as to which design Volvo will pursue, but the next XC90 is expected to be at least as practical as the original but with a more luxurious interior.
The new XC90 will also be offered as a plug-in hybrid, using hardware that Volvo has co-developed with Siemens.
Insiders have also revealed to Autocar that the Swedish firm would like to develop a small SUV to go up against the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
However, that plan is currently a distant one because Volvo doesn’t have a small-car platform on which to build it. The just-released V40 is based on architecture from Volvo’s previous owner, Ford, and it won’t be used again for any all-new Volvo models.
Volvo has announced its desire to find a new partner and, according to insiders, is in daily talks with other car makers to address this major strategic initiative. Volvo has set up a new department to handle alliances with other makers and believes that its safety lead and its new-found expertise in plug-in hybrids provide it with attractive technologies that it can trade for a new platform.
The new small SUV would be in addition to the XC40 version of the just-released V40 (see separate story, below right), and could appear by the middle of the decade if a suitable platform can be found within the next 12 months.