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.
He was too talented not to surface somewhere, we just didn't know where and when. Nine months ago, Stefan Jacoby stepped down from his post as Volvo CEO, a move that caught many off guard. At the time, the separation was called "amicable," but word is that the strong-willed executive clashed with owners Geely and the automaker's board.
Jacoby will have a new set of challenges on his hands, as he has just been named Executive Vice President Consolidated International Operations for General Motors. That means the Hannover-born Jacoby will head up the company's operations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, where he will be responsible for over 100 countries and territories. Jacoby succeeds Tim Lee, who has been named chairman of GM China. Lee will also retain his post as Executive Vice President Global Manufacturing.
Jacoby's dealings with Geely should help him in his Asian market duties, but he also counts time as the head of Volkswagen of China on his resume, so he's very well-versed in the market's peculiarities.
If Volvo's recent spate of cool-looking concepts is any indication, the Swedish brand has some great new styling on the way. But it takes time for new vehicles to come to market. In the meantime, Volvo is livening up some of its interiors with an updated Inscription Package on the 2015 XC60 (pictured above) and S80 debuting at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
The Inscription models see mostly interior improvements with Sovereign Hide leather covering the seats and more leather for the instrument panels, seatbacks, center armrests and embroidered headrests. Inlaid wood acts as decorative trim, and there are plush, new floor mats. Exterior changes are limited to the choice of colors, namely Crystal White Pearl, Electric Silver and - exclusively for the S80 - Ember Black. The XC60 Inscription comes with 20-inch, ten-spoke wheels, and the S80 receives 19-inch versions.
The package's changes are fairly small, but it adds a certain amount of opulence to the models until the new Volvos are ready. Scroll down to read the full details about them.