The first-generation Volvo XC90 was unveiled back in 2003 and for many years it has been Volvo’s best-sold SUV. However, in the past few years things have changed and XC90 sales have dropped significantly. The reason is quite simple: the XC90 feels aged when compared to many of its competitors. Because of its lagging behind, Volvo has started to test the second-generation XC90 and today we have caught the first mule playing out in the snow in Northern Sweden.
You will likely notice that the mule looks basically identical to the current XC70 and that’s because it is almost identical. You have to remember that this is just a mule that Volvo uses to test technologies that will be used in the next XC90, like the SPA platform and probably one of the new VEA engines. Also, if you take a closer look at the photos, you will notice this mule is a lot wider than the current XC70. Additionally, the fuel cap has an odd placement directly above the right wheel — a clear indication that the wheelbase is significantly longer than in the current model. The rear doors also look to be nearly two inches longer than normal.
The second-gen XC90 will be built on a new, flexible platform that is developed independently by Volvo and bears the name “SPA” (Scalable Product Architecture). This change will make the next XC90 longer than the current generation and, of course, roomier on the inside.
Under the hood, the crossover will get a lineup of turbocharged four-cylinder engines combined with newly developed eight-gear automatic transmission. The current V-6 and V-8 engines will be dropped.
Expect the new XC90 to be launched sometime in 2015, so if you want the new model, you will have to wait for another two years.