The Volvo XC90 was a big step for the Swedish automaker in 2003, but the midsize crossover has changed very little since its introduction. All that's about to change as Volvo starts its initial development on the 2015 XC90, which we see for the first time in these spy shots showing a cobbled-together XC70.

Like the current XC90, the next-generation model will be both longer and wider than the XC70 – judging by the modifications made to this mule's body – which will continue to allow Volvo's flagship crossover and provide three rows of seating. The next XC90 will ride on a new platform that will eventually make up around two-thirds of all Volvo sales, called the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

Our shooter managed to find out the registration number for this mule, which indicated that it was powered by a five-cylinder diesel, but we expect the automaker to start stepping away from its current powertrains with a big push toward smaller engines courtesy of the new Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA). Rumor has it that the future engine lineup for the XC90 will rely heavily on turbocharged four-cylinder engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions, which will likely eliminate or lessen some of the current mills available like a straight-six or V8.

The automaker previously stated that the new XC90 would debut in late 2014, but it sounds like delays could push the launch into early 2015.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      jason_golden
      • 1 Year Ago
      I might be in the minority here, but I\'m happy to see a conventional, upright greenhouse and a straight beltline. I\'ve always thought that sharply rising beltlines and pinched greenhouses (think XC60, Mazda2) are inelegant and create a cat-in-heat appearance.
      kevsflanagan
      • 1 Year Ago
      This must be a drive train mule since its wearing 70 panels. Does look waaay longer than the current XC90 and lower to. Though if they are going with smaller engine I hope the weight of the 90 is way less because the current one is a hefty pig.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        [blocked]
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Rumor has it that the future engine lineup for the XC90 will rely heavily on turbocharged four-cylinder engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions, which will likely eliminate or lessen some of the current mills available like a straight-six or V8." That isn't a surprise. Didn't they announce like a year or so ago that they were gonna drop the 5- and 6-cylinder engines to focus solely on 4-cylinder engines?
      CarCrazy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bring it here with a new powertrain, a diesel or the diesel hybrid would make a lot of sense for a large SUV.
      Dean
      • 1 Year Ago
      This looks like an XC70 successor, though if I remember reading correctly, the XC70 is discontinued after this year...
        Kumar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean
        It looks like an XC70 because it's wearing one. "Mules" typically wear elements from another car, or even most of them, in early drive train testing. In this case, it looks like they lengthened an XC70 in the middle to make it long enough.
          Dean
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kumar
          Good catch on the details! I'm familiar with how manufacturers mix, and match bodies, and powertrains, but I didn't look that closely this time.
        ICantDrive88
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean
        Until the next generation appears at least. That was a popular model for them so I can't see them getting rid of it entirely. If so, I'll be pretty upset!
          Dean
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ICantDrive88
          I'd love to see another XC70. I was a big fan of the old S70s too, until they were discontinued.
      lang671
      • 1 Year Ago
      that's not it go to youtube and type in 2015 Volvo xc90 it is a real nice suv its bigger and better looking this is a 2014 Volvo xc70 look at it
      Jalop_Nick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honestly, just give me that with a turbo diesel.
      turkeythundergod
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is one of the vehicles I'm most looking forward to. Just don't hobble it with only turbocharged 4 bangers. This is a large, heavy, and expensive SUV. A turbo 6 I might be fine with, but ideally a smaller V8 that still is efficient is where it's at for this segment. A turbo 4 base model could be fine, provided it was fairly powerful, but crippling this thing with a really small engine is a bad choice. Its competition from BMW and MB both offer V8s. Audi has a supercharged V6. Lexus has a V8. Infiniti has a V8. See a common theme here? With big money, comes big engine. Now if they were to also offer a nicely sized V6 TDI, at not at a price point OVER the V8 (Shame on you Jeep!), that'd be a distinct possibility as well, but I think I'd still prefer the V8. Plus the old Yamaha V8 is sweet.
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still want to see a video of the body shop that has to take existing body panels and stretch them over a new chassis and rolling stock.
      Nathan Dostal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look again, it's a XC70. So much for you knowing about cars.
      brobs
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't be the XC90
      ZOZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      No way this to be an XC90!
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