In Stockholm, Sweden, Volvo today pulled the wraps off the first of an entirely new generation of vehicles—with a fully redesigned, second-generation version of the Volvo XC90.
Developed in-house at Volvo, as part of a three-year and $11b effort, under the ownership of China’s Geely Holding, the 2016 XC90 packs a new generation of powertrains as well. It will offer available plug-in hybrid technology, a next-generation version of the Sensus touch-screen interface, and an interior design that’s just as cleaned-up and radically decluttered, as the concept cars the brand has shown over the past couple of years have hinted.
As for the exterior, it’s not nearly as daring or sharp as those concepts suggested. With the new XC90, Volvo’s head of design, Thomas Ingenlath eschewed the wedgy, creased look that so many vehicles have adopted and instead went with a more relaxed, level beltline; with a nearly level hood, and a roofline that doesn’t arch noticeably.
Handsome and nicely detailed, though hardly daring
Volvo’s so-called scalable platform architecture (SPA) allows various lengths, wheelbases, and even widths, while only fixing the distance from the front axle to the front cowl. Don’t give up on those elongated, rear-wheel-drive-like proportions yet; they’re still on the way in the upcoming redesign for the brand’s S80 flagship sedan. Ingenlath hints that model, as well as others to be built on the SPA architecture, will be more visually daring, while the upright, more conservative look of the XC90’s exterior fits its mission.