Featuring a fresh design language, new platform and a whole raft of innovative technologies, the all-new and long-overdue XC90 is a car of 'firsts' for Volvo.
We'll have to wait another two weeks until Volvo reveals its new premium SUV to the world, so for now we'll have to make do with a new teaser shot showing its snazzy new 'Thor's Hammer' headlights and some extra titbits of information that Volvo has made available.
The new XC90 will be the first Volvo to be built on Volvo's new self-developed modular platform. This Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), as it's called, will eventually underpin the full range of Volvos, which is rumoured to be in for complete renewal over the next three years.
SPA will essentially allow for a vast range of cars, powertrains, electrical systems and technologies (all of differing complexity) to be fitted on the same architecture, significantly improving economies of scale. Volvo says the architecture also gives designers and engineers a great deal of flexibility.
It basically removes previous design limitations in areas such as wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height and the height of the vehicle's front end.
Volvo's R&D Vice President Dr Peter Mertens adds: “SPA gives us a fresh technological start. Around 90 per cent of the components in the all-new XC90 and upcoming models are new and unique. We are raising the bar to the very top of the premium league when it comes to quality and technology level in every vital area.”
Furthermore, the SPA architecture reduces weight and improves weight distribution, while also allowing more interior flexibility. The new XC90, for instance, will be a genuine seven-seater with a third row spacious enough to accommodate passengers up to 170cm tall and a sliding function for the second row seats will allow occupants to adjust to required levels of space.
Power will be provided by a range of two-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol and diesel engines, and the range topper will be a petrol-electric hybrid variant offering more than 300kW, while CO2 emissions will fall below 60g/km.
The platform's innovative electrical system is described as a “single nerve system with full control over all the connections in the vehicle,” and which allows for the easy incorporation of new safety gadgets and multimedia systems.