Volvo’s all-new XC90, revealed at last week’s Geneva motor show, has been redesigned with a view to taking on more premium rivals from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
The new car replaces the Swedish manufacturer’s original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch has notched nearly a million sales globally. The XC60 today represents around 30 per cent of Volvo’s total global sales.
And being built on the company’s recently-introduced SPA architecture means the new XC60 is able to grow both longer and wider than the current model without putting on any extra weight. It also means a more roomier interior cabin.
As is expected from Volvo, the refreshed model also gets a whole host of safety features, some of which are being introduced for the very first time on the XC60.
For example, a new system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation is claimed to help drivers to avoid collisions with vehicles in an oncoming lane; the system works by alerting a driver who has unwittingly wandered out of a lane by providing automatic steering assistance, guiding them back into their own lane and out of the path of any oncoming vehicle. This system is active between 37-87 mph.
Pilot Assist, Volvo’s own semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which manages steering, acceleration and braking on “well-marked roads” up to 81 mph, will also come as an option.
In terms of performance, a T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid will sit at the top of the powertrain range, delivering 401 bhp and acceleration from 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds. Below this will be one other petrol and two diesel options at launch. All of the initial models will also be four-wheel drive and matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
“The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive. The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology – all perfectly blended together. The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.
The new XC60 is set to go into production in mid-April at the Torslanda Plant in Sweden.