Volvo XC90 arrives on our shores

Volvo XC90 arrives on our shores

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
03 Aug 2015

Volvo has just launched its top of the range XC90 seven seater in Singapore, and it comes crammed with new technology. Volvo says the latest model brings the generous interior space and flexible capacity of an SUV together with the agility and comfort of a much smaller and lower car, and world-leading technology. The company claims the XC90 has been Singapore's best selling 7-seater SUV to date, with over 1,500 sold - and more than 20 pre-orders for the latest update despite it not even having arrived yet. Volvo says the new model represents their vision of what it means to drive a luxury car in the 21st century.

The XC90 boasts a completely new Sensus integrated control system that cuts down the number of buttons on the dash to just 8 to control everything in the car. This compares to having to figure out well over 30 buttons in today's average car and adds voice control to almost everything too.

The company says a new, smaller-car driving feel in the XC90 comes from a completely revised lightweight front and rear chassis. This uses double wishbone front suspension with an integral link/transverse leaf spring rear axle. The car is also optioned with a five-mode electronically controlled air suspension. The new model's power comes from its two-litre, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, driving through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Top of the range is the petrol T6, which can whip the car from 0-100kph in 6.5seconds through clever application of both supercharger and turbo. It's power output is an impressive 320bhp, with torque at 400 Nm. The second petrol option is the T5 with 254 bhp and 350 Nm of torque. The XC90 also comes with the D5 twin turbo diesel engine with a surging 470 Nm of torque and 225bhp, or the D4 turbo diesel engine with 400 Nm of torque and 190 bhp. Both diesels boast fuel consumption of between 5-6litre/100 km.

As with all Volvos, the makers are keen to emphasise the safety aspects of the car. Chris Wailes, newly appointed Market Area Director for Volvo Asia Pacific told OneShift the company was aiming for a goal of never having anybody killed, ever, in one of their cars, by 2020.

The new XC90's features take one step nearer this aim. As well as warning the driver of dangerous cars behind, blind-spot vehicles when pulling out of junctions, auto-parking side and rear, and auto-distance maintenance, it has a swathe of smart safety features including a unique mode that cuts in if the car should ever leave the road for any reason.

As well as the Run-off Road Protection - which incorporates energy-absorbing seat adaptation, belt tightening and lane detection, the car can detect tired drivers and warn them to stop using Driver Alert Control and GPS-linked Rest Stop Guidance.

The car's safety is integral too, says Volvo. It comes with Roll Stability Control as standard to cut power and brake specific wheels to avoid tipping - but if the car does roll, airbag curtains inflate to protect all three seat rows and help prevent head injuries. The occupants are protected by a high-tensile hot-formed boron steel cage that makes up some 40% of the car's weight.

It also features what Volvo calls City Safety auto-braking which detects un-noticed obstacles like pedestrians, cyclists or animals and brakes automatically is the driver fails to respond to an imminent collision. And in slow moving traffic queues, the car will accelerate, brake and steer automatically to keep best and safest position.

"But this car is not just about safety, it's about smart Scandinavian design," Wailes told OneShift. "We launched the new model online, with 47 cars in recognition of our founding year, and they sold out within 7 hours to buyers from all around the world," he said. Wailes said that because Volvo is not one of the big carmakers, it can be nimble, can respond to the latest design requirements and customer demands much more quickly.

The XC90’s interior reflects this. The new Sensus touchscreen console makes for a cleaner, smoother interior offering luxury touches like finest Nappa leather, Swedish wood, and an Orrefors crystal glass gear lever. Volvo says this open, luxurious approach gives the XC90 interior an "uncluttered, sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect."

This extends to the seats - spine-reflecting for extreme comfort, with optional adjustable side bolsters, seat cushion extensions and a massage function. All of the second row seats have recline adjustment, plus a sliding function used to create more legroom for third row passengers.

"What we have done with the XC90 is to build an alternative choice [in luxury SUVs]," said Wailes. "We now offer a definite and different quality choice to BMW, Audi and Lexus - but without compromise."

Credits: Story and Photos by Jeremy Torr

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