Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its all-new Volvo XC90, delivering 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.
In photos and on paper at least, the car certainly meets the mark and looks set to become the new most popular car in the school run queue. After huge investment has been put in, the new Volvo XC90 is set to be Volvo’s trendsetter in terms of styling queues and its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group said:
“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.”
The recommended retail price for the D5 AWD Momentum is £45,000 and will be available to order at Volvo dealerships in October, following the public reveal at the Paris Motor Show. Customer deliveries are expected to start in May 2015.
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 new XC90 offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains, all of which provide a combination of performance and fuel-efficiency with its plug-in hybrid powertrain.
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 (NEDC driving cycle). For drivers who can, the car can be plugged in to make it more efficient too by charging the batteries from mains power rather than the fuel unit making the car a practical PHEV.
Naturally, no self respecting Volvo could be launched without a comprehensive safety package and the XC90 is no exception. 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 all-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 all-new XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night. Dr Mertens said:
“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. 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. Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group, said:
“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.”
In a definite nod to the luxury car market spearheaded by the likes of Range Rover, Volvo haven’t forgotten their customers tastes, nor their Swedish design roots.
Taking a leaf out of the Tesla Model S is the Volvo’s most striking feature; a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. 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. Mr Ingenlath, said:
“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture.”
The new XC90 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.