A peculiar sighting of a prototype of Volvo XC90 was spotted on the road recently. The mule carries a bizarre scaffolding on the roofing. Speculations suggest it could be the Volvo UTE in disguise. Is the automaker coming out with a rival for Mercedes-Benz X-Class UTE?
A red prototype was spotted which looks similarly with XC90 but with some odd-looking variance. It has a rear axle which is obviously pushed back a little than the usual XC90.
What is puzzling with the mule is that it also carries a solid steel scaffolding-like platform mounted from the rear to the roofing. The solid steel bars suggest the car is being tested for stability.
CarAdvice first speculated that the mule could be an SUV model with larger built or could possibly be a long-wheelbase model of the XC90. However, the publication also noted that there have been no hints that Volvo is working on such projects.
— Volvo Cars (@volvocarsglobal) January 30, 2017
Finally, the publication predicted that the prototype could be a 4x4 model. Volvo is most likely developing a 4x4 UTE to compete with the anticipated Mercedes-Benz X-Class UTE. For further analysis, you may want to check out the spy photos posted on this link.
Speaking of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class UTE, the model has been confirmed to be on the working table already. Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Nissan to release the new X-Class UTE by 2018. The model will be inspired by the Nissan Navara UTE.
Mercedes-Benz chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche told CarAdvice in another report that they have strong partnership with Renault-Nissan. The team-up aims to produce the former's next-generation of small car line-up.
Meanwhile, Volvo is reportedly recalling about 8,200 cars due to a faulty airbag. Apparently, the automaker received an alert from its supplier, Autoliv, with a potential risk due to a faulty airbag. A Volvo Cars spokesperson told Expressen that the supplier encountered a quality problem in the production and predicts there could be problems too once the airbag is deployed, TheLocal has reported.