Three years after its launch, a new, enhanced 2007 model Volvo XC90 will make its UK debut at the British International Motor Show in July, when it is also expected to arrive in Volvo showrooms.
Thanks to its great design with flexible, seven-seat interior and car-like driving characteristics, Volvo revolutionised the SUV market when the XC90 went on sale in 2003. It was an instant success and has rapidly become Volvo’s best-selling model globally. Now, to enhance the XC90’s appeal further Volvo is introducing a new XC90 with more refinement, desirability and performance.
"We have elevated the sensation of luxury car comforts and are deliberately moving the XC90 upmarket in the premium segment with the new Volvo XC90," says Frederik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. "We have listened closely to our customers and refined the XC90 to boost our competitiveness. We already have a winning design, but have introduced more sophisticated lines and materials and a better driving experience – but without compromising safety," continues Arp.
Following a high level of customer and media interest when Volvo announced its new V8 engine was available for the XC90 in other countries (with LHD), Volvo is delighted to confirm that the V8 will now be one of the new, premium range of engines available in the new Volvo XC90 in the UK (with RHD) together with Volvo’s new 3.2-litre straight-six engine recently launched in the all-new Volvo S80 saloon.
"With the new state-of-the-art six and eight-cylinder engines, the new Volvo XC90 will appeal to a far broader segment of customers and meet the increased demand for more performance and refinement," says Hans Wikman, Vice President Vehicle Line Large Cars, at Volvo Car Corporation.
The new V8 and in-line 3.2-litre six-cylinder engines offer 315PS with 440Nm of torque and 238PS with 320Nm of torque, respectively. The engine line-up for the new XC90 is completed with Volvo’s popular, five-cylinder D5 (185PS) turbodiesel that will continue to be available. The previous six-cylinder T6 (272PS) and five-cylinder 2.5T (210PS) engines are discontinued.
This is Volvo’s first V8 engine. It is extremely refined with compact dimensions to enable it to be fitted transversely in the XC90 – like all Volvos – to help maintain good front crumple zones and leave more space for the passenger compartment.
Its compact design was achieved by positioning the cylinders at 60 degrees with a counter-rotating balancer shaft, rather than the conventional 90 degrees. In addition, all the ancillaries, such as the alternator, are fitted directly onto the engine itself without any space-stealing brackets. The starter motor is fitted above the transmission to save space, similarly, the exhaust camshafts are driven by secondary chains running off the inlet camshafts. The result is a V8 engine that is just 754mm long and 635mm wide which weighs just 190kg thanks to the block and cylinder head being cast in aluminium.
It is also one of the cleanest V8 engines on the market and meets the American ULEV II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, stage II) standard, which has been possible with the help of:
- Four catalytic converters. Two of these are of close coupled catalyst type and fitted to one exhaust manifold each. The other two are installed under the car floor
- Lean air/fuel mixture for lower emissions at cold start
- Higher idling speed at cold start (about 1,250rpm), and optimised ignition for faster warming of the engine and catalytic converters
The result is extremely low emissions before the catalytic converters are activated – which takes place just 15-20 seconds after the engine is started.
"It is during these 15-20 seconds that the majority of the emissions of harmful substances take place," says Jögen Sbensson, Volvo’s chief programme engineer.
No less than 370Nm of the torque is at the driver’s disposal from 2,000 rpm, with the total of 440Nm available at 3,900 rpm. This provides acceleration from 0-62mph in about seven seconds.
The sound of a V8 engine is also important to customers and is something Volvo has paid special attention to during the development of the engine. The resulting off-beat V8 ‘burble’ speaks for itself.
The new 3.2-litre unit, built at Bridgend in Wales, is a modern unit, mostly made of aluminium with an efficient design that is more compact than Volvo’s five-cylinder engines as its ancillary components (such as power steering pump and air conditioning compressor) are neatly positioned behind the engine in the space above the transmission.
It achieves high performance with good fuel economy thanks to its valve train with both Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and Cam Profile Switching (CPS) on the intake side. With CPS, the intake valves can be lifted to different heights depending on engine revs and load – a lower lift for economical driving and a higher one for more power, almost creating two engines in one.
Both the V8 and 3.2-litre engines are only available with Volvo’s six-speed Geartronic transmission as standard (optional for the D5) and the latest All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system with Instant Traction.
The new, more elegant exterior for the new XC90 has been achieved with a number of enhancements. These are most noticeable at the rear where there are redesigned lights which now emphasise the curves of the XC90’s shoulders, plus a wide, chrome detailing above the number plate, full-width rear scuff-plate and new bumper with more body colouring.
At the front there’s a new grille with more chrome and larger Volvo iron mark badge, plus bumpers with a greater degree of colour-coding. The new XC90 is also distinguished by new 18in alloy wheels and colour-coded side mouldings and door handles.
In addition, larger door mirrors become co-ordinated with the car’s colour and now incorporate the side indicator. There is also the added choice of a new pearl finish paint available – Shadow Blue – and two new Inscription colours, Electric Silver and White Pearl. Brushed aluminium roof rails are also available on higher trim levels.
"The changes we have made to the new Volvo XC90 can be regarded as precision tuning designed to increase the car’s appeal still further," says Hans Wikman. "Volvo wants to give the discerning XC90 customers a more luxurious, premium experience," he continued.
To achieve a higher quality feel, Volvo has introduced new materials and upholsteries, including Sovereign Hide soft leather with contrasting seam stitching and panels in perforated leather.
The centre console has been upgraded with a new display and aluminium-effect trim with a new choice of Sapele Wood also introduced, while for extra convenience when overtaking, a quick push of the indicator stalk automatically flashes the indicator three times.
Added convenience is also offered for the new XC90 by the new RTI (Road and Traffic information) satellite navigation system which now works from a hard-disk based system (instead of DVD) which more quickly calculates routes, is easier to use and provides additional information.
The standard High Performance audio system will now play CDs with music in MP3 and WMA formats and is equipped with an aux input to connect extra equipment, such as i-Pods and other MP3 players. The optional Premium Sound audio system is now one of the most advanced available and includes a digital class D amplifier from Alpine with ICE Power technology from Bang & Olufsen Powerhouse, plus Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound and loudspeakers from Dynaudio – producers of some of the world’s finest speakers.
New, ‘Active Bi-xenon’ headlights improve the driver’s view of the road ahead on dark twisty roads by moving by 15 degrees in either direction to follow the curves of the road. A microprocessor measures and analyses a number of parameters and optimises the light pattern to suit, and the system is automatically disabled when it is not needed during daylight hours.
Volvo will introduce the option of a Park Assist Camera to aid parking and give an improved view of the area behind when reversing as well as showing ‘help lines’ of the car’s planned path or track – which could also be especially useful for any customers reversing to hitch up a trailer. The wide-angled camera is designed to avoid excessive distortion and previews a large area via the car’s RTI navigation screen on the dashboard.