Due to be revealed late this year before going on sale during the first half of 2015, a prototype 2016 Volvo XC90 SUV is seen here winter testing in Northern Sweden. Even in full camouflage, these Volvo-supplied "spy" images indicate the Gen II XC90 will remain close in scale to the existing 7-seater that first rolled onto the scene in 2002. Although the wall-to-wall cladding makes it far harder to discern, exterior styling of the final production model - particularly up front -- reportedly will retain a fair number of cues seen most recently in the Volvo Concept Estate that made its debut in March at the Geneva Auto Show.

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New platform

As confirmed earlier, the new XC90 will be the first vehicle to be based on Volvo's new Scalable Platform Architecture that also will underpin future 40 and 60 Series models. Based on a blend of conventional to ultra-high-strength steels as well as aluminum, this modular core structure will endow the XC90 with an unprecedented combination of strength and light weight. Power for the 2016 XC90 will come from a number of Volvo's new 4-cylinder Drive-E engines, with the most potent combining turbocharging and supercharging, producing, reportedly, in excess of 300 horsepower. In addition to gasoline and diesel versions - the latter yet to be fully green-lighted for America - Drive-E will also offer a new-gen Hybrid system.

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While Volvo has said little about the interior details of the new XC90, it too is destined to reflect the more upscale look and feel of the Volvo Concept Estate. In addition to gaining more comfort and space, the cabin will see the introduction of a programmable TFT-style instrument cluster as well as the automaker's new touchscreen that features a 9.5-inch high-definition color display controlling the full range of infotainment functions supported by only a handful of conventional buttons and a single rotary knob. 

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