The first-generation Volvo XC90 has been with us for an incredible 12 years, having begun production all the way back in 2002. While it is remarkable how well Sweden’s first seven-seat SUV has been holding up in the face of tough competition over the years – it remains one of the safer and more family-friendly vehicles on sale – this senior citizen has long passed the class mantle to newer, fresher youngsters.

Thankfully, it’s not long now before the ageing workhorse can retire to Volvo’s back catalogue at last, because the company has finally started to tease its successor, indicating that the car will be unveiled soon.

Very little of the finished product is actually shown in the video above, and very briefly – the focus is instead on the Californian drivers Volvo has solicited for input into the design and development of the new car. The company said it has worked with these individuals and many others around the globe for three years, mimicking a similar development process that shaped the original XC90.

We do know that the next-generation Volvo XC90 will be the first car built on the company’s new state-of-the-art Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which will help trim as much as 150 kg off the previous model’s kerb weight. This enables the car to be powered solely by a range of Drive-E four-cylinder engines, part of the Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) family.

Highlights include a new twin-charged 2.0 litre petrol engine producing 302 hp and 400 Nm, as well as a 2.0 litre twin-turbo diesel with i-ART technology making 190 hp and 400 Nm. An eight-speed automatic transmission is expected to be offered, as well as a plug-in hybrid variant.

As for the looks, well, we’re still not quite sure as to how exactly that will turn out. But if the handsome new Volvo concepts – the Concept Coupe, Concept XC Coupe and Concept Estate – are any indication…

Volvo XC90 spyshots