Volvo has confirmed a replacement for its big XC90 SUV will make its global debut in 2014, marking its first all-new model under Geely ownership.
Practicality will drive the design of the new SUV, becoming one of the largest models to ride on the new architecture and ensuring seating for seven occupants.
All new models on the SPA platform will weigh in at 100-150kg lighter than their predecessors, thanks to the extensive use of aluminium and high-strength steel in body and powertrain construction.
The final look of the new model is still to be revealed, although artwork released in 2011 offers a hint of one possible styling direction.
If those illustrations form an accurate tip - and if the Universe Concept is anything to go by - future Volvo models will showcase a minimalist style with a broad grille and slender headlights.
A more luxurious cabin is expected, making the XC90 a true flagship for the brand, alongside an eventual successor to the S80 sedan.
For now, the nearly ten year-old first-generation XC90 is expected to soldier on, although one last major update could appear before the all-new model appears in 2014.
Until then, Australian buyers can look to the new V40 hatch for a taste of the brand's latest styling and technologies.
Volvo has also confirmed development of a new compact platform - again in partnership with parent Geely - with production of most models on the architecture expected to take place in China.