By Ronan Glon
Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 10:49 am
 

Our spy photographers have sent us the first-ever images of Volvo's next-generation 2015 XC90 crossover.

Although still clad in heavy camouflage, these first-ever spy pictures give us some idea of just how big the new XC90 will be. This prototype's plastic cladding likely adds a few inches to all of the XC90's dimensions, but it's clear that the 2015 XC90 is being designed with carpool duties in mind.

Under that thick padding resides Volvo's new design language. Volvo is keeping the XC90's styling under wraps, but the crossover's design direction was previewed by the Concept Coupé that was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, and, more recently, by the XC Coupe concept at the Detroit auto show. Its front end will be defined by T-shaped LED daytime running lights, a floating grille with horizontal slats and a generally more angular appearance. Out back, the current model's upright tail lamps will remain and adopt LED technology.

Pictures of the interior are not available yet but a third teaser shot confirms the crossover will be equipped with a large iPad-like touch screen that will bundle the car's connectivity, entertainment and navigation functions.

From launch, the XC90 will be available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Called Twin Engine, the drivetrain will consist of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at about 300 horsepower and a small electric motor linked to a compact battery pack. Together, the two power sources will put out around 442 lb-ft. of torque, enough to rival V8 powerplants, while returning what Volvo promises will be "class-leading" fuel mileage.

Conventional versions of the next XC90 will be powered by Volvo's new Drive-E engine family, which includes and turbocharged four-cylinder as well as a four-cylinder with both turbocharging and supercharging technology.

The upcoming XC90 will be the first vehicle to use Volvo's all-new Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA in short. Similar in concept 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.

Look for Volvo's next crossover to greet the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show.