Volvo unveiled the second-generation XC90 over eight years ago and it’s safe to say the mid-size luxury SUV has aged gracefully. It still looks relatively fresh despite having been around for a while during a period when virtually all of its rivals have switched to next-gen models. A successor is inevitable and last week we took a good (although indirect) look at it through patent images. These have now been turned into unofficial renders.
Looking quite familiar, the XC90 appeared to be the purely electric model judging by the closed grille. The overall exterior styling won’t be a significant change and is expected to have some Polestar design cues. Retractable door handles and a fresh take on Volvo’s traditional vertical taillights are reserved for the new model.
Volvo said the next-generation vehicle will receive an actual name rather than an alphanumeric designation. The Geely-owned brand has said the first letter will be a vowel, with some reports claiming the XC90 will be renamed Embla. However, a recent trademark filing shows that the Swedes have taken legal steps to register EXC90.
Perhaps the newly registered moniker will be used for the current model as Volvo plans to continue production. It even gets a facelift, which could be accompanied by a purely electric derivative called the EXC90. However, nothing is official at this point and this is just speculation on our part in an attempt to decipher the mystery.
Meanwhile, new patent images show a good chunk of the interior, though some parts are missing. Even so, we can easily tell that the SUV will have a portrait-oriented infotainment system and a continuous air vent design The side spokes of the steering wheel suggest that it will incorporate capacitive touch buttons, while the “floating” center console offers ample storage space in the armrest.
It should be noted that the next-generation XC90/Embla will only be a temporary flagship SUV, as Volvo is preparing a full-size XC100. (will have a different name) which is expected to take after the 2021 Recharge concept. It will also be electric as part of the company’s ambitions to phase out combustion engines altogether by the end of this decade. Volvo was among the first automakers to announce plans to phase out ICEs and go full-throttle into electric vehicles.