We can see that external changes will be subtle, given the development team hasn’t really bothered to disguise these prototypes. If you look closely you can see tape obscuring the lower grille and bumper details, suggesting small cosmetic tweaks, but otherwise it appears that the S90 and V90’s design won’t be altered greatly.
There will be more significant revisions under the skin, however. Chief among which will be the adoption of 48V mild-hybrid technology, already found in the refreshed XC90 and XC60, across most of the line-up.
The system combines a 48V battery with an integrated starter/generator and energy recovery system, capturing kinetic energy during braking or coasting and using it to boost overall efficiency. It’s expected that, instead of the ‘T’ and ‘D’ badges to signify petrol and diesel variants, both fuel types will be badged ‘B’, with B4, B5 and B6 variants found in the XC60.
Further changes are likely to be incremental, with equipment upgrades across the line-up and small revisions to the car’s infotainment software. The T8 plug-in hybrid is expected to carry on unaltered, but Volvo could introduce a more sportily tuned ‘Polestar Engineered’ model to top out the range.
Given the timeline of the facelifted XC90, first launched in 2015, expect the three-year-old S90 and V90 to be updated in the middle of 2020 and go on sale towards the end of the year.