Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Despite its advanced age, the Volvo XC90 remains a highly competent luxury SUV. The design has aged nicely, and it's clear from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety naming the big Volvo a Top Safety Pick + that the safety-minded Swedes behind it knew what they were doing. Still, even the finest cars need replacing, especially after nearly 12 years on sale.
Here we have the first spy shots of the next-generation XC90, under development somewhere cold (at this rate, it could be anywhere from Arvidsjaur to Atlanta). Now, as our spy photogs point out, this is the real deal, judging by all that camo over the vehicle. There's a production body under there, rather than this being a mule with the old vehicle's skin on top of it.
It's difficult to make out much because of all the camo, although there are some similarities to both the Concept XC Coupe from the Detroit Auto Show and a batch of teaser images we showed you earlier this year. We can see the greenhouse retains a shape similar to the current XC90, although the beltline climbs rather aggressively once past the C pillar, much like it does on the Concept XC Coupe. In back, Volvo has eschewed tall, vertical lights in favor of more conventional units, which we expect to be similar to what we saw in the teaser images. We'd bargain that there will be a traditional rectangular grille, like what you can see on the concept. The headlights, meanwhile, should wear T-shaped LED elements, like the teaser images.
There's something inescapably right about a Swedish car with a set of skis on its roof. It doesn't matter if it's a Jurassic-era Volvo Amazon, a Saab 900 Turbo, or even a Koenigsegg Agera R. Surely it's some sort of Scandinavian birthright... right along with immaculate complexion. The latest to carry on that tradition in fine form? The Volvo Concept XC Coupe, just released at this week's Detroit Auto Show.
The two-door, four-seat XC Coupe rolled onto stage here at Cobo pre-outfitted with a matching ski box, looking sharp on its 21-inch wheels. According to Volvo, the box isn't an afterthought - in fact, the XC Coupe's design itself was "inspired by modern sports equipment."
As for the rest of the concept's genetic makeup, at this point, we don't have much to go on. Volvo has admitted that the XC Coupe rides atop its new boron-steel-intensive Scalable Product architecture, but it has declined to outline any sort of powertrain details. We're not sure if this showcar has any production future, but we do expect for its design language to inform the next-generation XC90 crossover.
As a part of eliminating its dependence on Ford platforms and powertrains, Volvo has previously announced information about its Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) and Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), but now we're finally getting some details about what will power some of the Swedish automaker's next-generation products.
The biggest key to VEA on the diesel engines is a new technology Volvo calls i-ART. This system uses unique injectors at each cylinder capable of monitoring fuel pressure and adjusting accordingly to maximize fuel economy and performance and reduce emissions. Looking ahead, Volvo says its four-cylinder engines will be able to offer the power of a six-cylinder and eventually, mixed with some sort of electrification, will be able to rival the performance of a V8 and "turn V8s into dinosaurs."
More details about the new diesel injection technology is posted in the press release below.