By Colin Bird on November 23, 2011
Volvo is still searching for its place in the automotive landscape. Will it compete with premium vehicles from Buick or Volkswagen, or with luxury vehicles from Audi and BMW? While the marketing department continues its eternal debate, we’re at least starting to get a pretty good understanding of what future Volvos will look like.
The illustrations here show off a potential look for the 2015 Volvo XC90. Notice that the crossover looks a lot like the Volvo Concept You, which we saw at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show.Like the You concept, the front-end face has been stretched and narrowed compared with the current XC90. Narrow prong-shaped headlights integrate into a massive shield grille with eggcrate inlays. A prominent Volvo emblem and the diagonal bright bar remain front and center. Overall the look is unique, which is good for an automaker known for its Scandinavian eccentricity. The three rear angles all offer variations on Volvo's vertical taillight theme.
Besides the new styling, Volvo also outlined the future of its powertrains and platforms earlier this fall. Now under the stewardship of Chinese carmaker Geely, those innovations include an eight-speed automatic transition, start-stop technology and a new engine range consisting exclusively of four-cylinder gas and diesel engines. (Currently the XC90 is equipped with an inline-six-cylinder.) There will also be a new, highly flexible platform that will underpin most future Volvos. The platform is lightweight and has improved weight distribution, according to Volvo.
The XC90 is one of the carmaker’s best-sellers in the U.S., and it was a huge hit when it first went on sale in the SUV-loving year of 2002. It’s also one of Volvo’s most expensive models to date. However, the XC90 hasn’t seen any major styling changes since it debuted. Volvo may need to get these renderings to production a bit faster than 2015. Volvo's concept for the XC90 debuted in 2000 with the real thing following in two years, so we don't expect the company to beat a 2015 model year release.