Volvo's new rival for the BMW X3 is apparently getting close to production. The new Volvo XC50 should reach dealers around the same time as another new Euro rival, the Audi Q5. Looks like there are going to be a lot of good competitors in the premium mini-ute segment. The XC50 will most likely be built on the C1 chassis underpinning the Euro Focus, Mazda3, Volvo S40 and V50. Engines should be similar to the V50's, minus the smaller ones. We're probably going to see gas engines ranging from 145 to 220hp, and perhaps the new diesel D5 unit putting out 180hp.

The Volvo XC50 will look like a mini-me version of the larger XC90. Not a copy, but similar. Infomotori sources are saying that the platform is the same as the V50, with a strong family resemblance to the new Volvo C30. It is also expected to share much with the next-generation Land Rover Freelander/LR3, including its trick AWD system.

Although only labeled a concept at this point, the car should be unveiled at the NAIAS in Detroit in January and go on sale as early as Spring 2008. Expected to be approximately the same size as the Toyota RAV4, it will compete a bit further upscale with the likes of the Lexus RX, BMW X3 and new Acura RDX.

[Source: InfoMotori]

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