Months of speculation ended recently when Volvo Cars unveiled its long awaited new XC90. It delivers on its promise to introduce a visually striking, premium quality seven-seat SUV with world-leading safety features, new powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency, and a superlative interior finish.
Three years in the making and part of an $11billion investment programme, the new XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction which incorporates its own range of new technologies, and utilising its new scalable product architecture technology.
“This is one of the most important days in our history. We are not just launching a car, but re-launching our brand. This day marks a new era for our company. The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come in the following years,” says Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car Group.
Symbolising this historic day in Volvo’s 87 year history, the new XC90 will be the first of its cars to carry the company’s new more prominent iron mark, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille. Together with the t-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” DRL lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.
The XC90’s larger bonnet with its new topography, the beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the tattoo-like, new rear lights are other important design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.
To add more visual muscle from the sides, the XC90 comes with a range of wheel sizes up to 22 inches.
The XC90 is firm evidence of the Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002.
The new XC90 offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency.
The top of the range XC90 twin engine, which combines a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation: around 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions of around 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle ).
The new XC90 offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.
In a run-off road scenario, the new Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain.
The XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways where the speed limits are higher.
City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions, which are standard equipment in the new XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.
Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive.
Lex Kerssemakers, a senior vice president at Volvo Car Group, says: “With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience.”