XC90 introduces new platforms, technology and design language which will be seen on other new Volvos

XC90 introduces new platforms, technology and design language which will be seen on other new Volvos

It is a bit of an exaggeration but it seems as though Volvo has taken almost the 12 years of the outgoing XC90 SUV's life to tell us, drip by drip, about the new one. But finally, the new car has been unveiled - no driving yet - as a visually striking, premium quality seven seat SUV with world leading safety features, new powertrain technologies, new power and fuel efficiency benchmarks and excellent interior finish.

Three years in the making and part of a US$11bn investment programme, the new XC90 is the first completely in-house job since Ford sold Volvo to Geely in 2010 and marks the beginning of a new chapter in the automaker’s history, showing the future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilising its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) 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,"said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

New face

The redesigned XC90 will be the first Volvo 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 a 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 overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on wellbeing," said Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design.

"SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises," said R&D chief Peter Mertens. "You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car.

Power and fuel efficiency

The new SUV offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains. 

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 60 g/km expected to be achieved on the NEDC driving cycle when the model is homologated. 

Safety tech includes two world firsts: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.

City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions, which are standard equipment in the XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.

"The new technologies will take us a significant step closer to our vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020," said Mertens. "Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was when the company was created almost 90 years ago: real-life situations. We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made."

Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive. 

Luxurious interior

The interior is the most luxurious to have been designed for a Volvo. The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system and proved extremely intuitive to use in demo units that could not show all functions. This system is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.

The new interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. Craftsmanship has been in sharp focus during the whole development work. 

The genuine seven seater features new, innovatively designed seats that also free up interior space for passengers both in the second and third seat rows. The third row offers class-leading comfort for two passengers up to 170 cm tall.

Top audio system

The XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1,400 watt Class D amplifier and 19 speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer. 

The latest sound processing software has been used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers. This brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car. 

Two main accessory themes

The XC90 will be available with a range of accessories that makes it possible for the owner to create a truly personalised car. There are two major exterior styling themes:

• The Urban Luxury package combines a colour co-ordinated body kit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.

• The Rugged Luxury kit enhances the ruggedness of the XC90 SUV with tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.