This is what happens when the art of camouflaging flops. Volvo should know that better. CAR reader Rory Smith snapped some shots of a mysteriously tall Volvo wagon mule in West Yorskshire, England. This test car was using the shell of a V70 which was not doing too good a job with the cover-up. We expect that under that covering is the long-awaited Volvo XC90.
In what could be considered as the first glimpse of the new vehicle from Volvo, one could make out the dimensions it was hiding underneath the camouflage. The test car was quite wide, with the ride height and the wheel arches extended to fit larger wheels. This tuning is probably to aid the engineers to test their range of high-riding vehicles like the 2014 XC90 SUV.
The upcoming XC90 will be the first vehicle to use Volvo's all-new Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA in short. This is also a way for Volvo to sever their ties from Ford, their previous owner. Similar to Volkswagen's MQB platform, SPA was designed to underpin many of Volvo's upcoming models regardless of size or vehicle type. The S60, the S80 and the XC60 will all ride on the platform when they are renewed. In terms of styling it will be using influences from the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe.
In terms of the powerhouse under the hood, Volvo has remained tight-lipped but previously has made it known that they will be putting in new engines. Volvo had said it was developing a new family of four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection. Those two features improve performance and fuel economy, an addition which we can expect to be seen in their other models too. Volvo will use higher states of tune and electric motor hybrid propulsion to provide enough go to attempt to match BMW’s X5 and the Range Rover Sport. The current XC90 has used five-, six-, and eight-cylinder motors, it has never offered a four-cylinder. A 240bhp 3.2-litre six-cylinder is the only option then?
In November, Volvo had announced the 2014 XC90 will be available with a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain when it goes on sale in about a year. New innovations for the XC90 include after-dark pedestrian detection, auto-braking, road-barrier detection, auto-steering avoidance and even the ability to autonomously park and un-park the vehicle itself. This is apart from its commitment to safety. New safety features can also be expected.
India was supposed to get the updated XC90, but it has not happened as yet. So, we can expect the all-new, full-size Volvo SUV to make its way to India sometime late after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year.