2014 Volvo XC90 sketches leaked

Sketches that provide an insight into the possible look of the 2014 Volvo XC90 have been leaked online.
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Four seemingly official rendered images have been published by on the website of US car magazine Car and Driver, and are claimed to come from the company's Californian design studio in a pre-Los Angeles motor show preview.

The current-generation XC90 is one of the oldest vehicles on sale, having been launched nearly a decade ago, in 2002, though it has been a hugely successful model globally in terms of sales.

Sketches are typically never the strongest guide to how a car will actually look in real-world, production form, though the new images suggest the XC90 will skip the look of Volvo's more recent (smaller) SUV, the XC60, and follow the Swedish car maker's latest styling direction that was previewed by the Volvo Concept Universe in April 2011.

The headlights are placed right at the edges of the front end, while the main grille is shaped with a slightly drooped centre and flat surface at the top. The rear also features a clean layout with no-fuss surfaces just like the Concept Universe.

All of the images preview a slightly different design, but one of the rear layouts takes a step further than the others. Labelled with a 'VF' badge on the side, the rear end features a much more dramatic and sporting design with a diffuser and additional swift-looking fog- and tail-lights mounted in the rear guard.

Which ever design Volvo ends up running with for the 2014 Volvo XC90, it's expected to be built on the new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) that also underpins the Volvo Concept Universe concept.

The platform is said to be highly versatile, suiting four-cylinder engines of various power levels. The platform will help to reduce weight by as much as 150kg from its predecessors.

Volvo Australia says it isn't currently aware of any official images having been released but is investigating.