Volvo refreshed version of best-selling XC90 holds the key to the digital world

Brian Joss – Volvo Car South Africa has unveiled a refreshed version of its best-selling XC90. The SUV boasts world-leading safety features, efficient yet frugal powertrains and a superlative interior finish, Volvo said.

The latest XC90 follows the all-new XC90, which was launched globally in 2015. At the time, it was the first of Volvo’s cars to feature 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 introduced an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of vehicles.

The same styling is carried through in the 2020 XC90. However, the latest SUV also boasts new wheels, new exterior colours and a modern new grille.

Significantly, it also comes in a brand new six-seat configuration.

“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 well-being,” says Greg Maruszewski, managing director of Volvo Car South Africa.

When the all-new XC90 debuted in 2015, it had the most luxurious interior ever designed for a Volvo. The same applies to the very latest model.

The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of the in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an innovative 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 and spacious.

The 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, on the T8 Inscription and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. The superlative and award-winning interior design now includes two USB ports as standard as well as a telematics unit with a P-Sim card slot.

As well as ample space for passengers, there is a flexible load compartment with up to 1 856 litres of space.

The 2020 XC90 can be ordered with a range of different seating configurations. From the seven-seat family SUV, to the new six-seat configuration, the XC90 has been created to best fits people’s preferences and lifestyles. New interior materials including a slate grey upholstery and new décor inlays offer further options for personalisation.

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

According to Maruszewski, this sound system is right up there with the best in the world. “This audio system goes beyond figures – our sound engineers have searched obsessively for audiophile perfection. Using a radically new approach, they developed a unique room transformation technology together with the Swedish audio software specialists Dirac Research. This technology makes it possible to recreate the acoustics of a specific room inside the car,” he said.

The 2020 XC90 comes with an arsenal of safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control, Distance Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Run-Off Road Mitigation/Protection, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Light, Brakes with Hill Start Assist and Automatic Hold, Automatic braking after a collision, Roll-Over Protection System, Roll Stability Control, reinforced passenger compartment, SIPS™ side impact protection system, collapsible steering column, side and dual-stage airbags (for the driver and front passenger), inflatable curtain, WHIPS™ whiplash injury protection system and City Safety with Autobrake (which recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals).

It  offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder powertrains  coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The turbocharged diesel engine equipped to the Volvo XC90 D5 Geartronic AWD delivers 173 kW at 4 000 r/min and 480 Nm of torque at 1 750 – 2 250 r/min.

Fuel consumption – at 5,7 litres per 100 km (combined) – is frugal.

The XC90 T5 AWD is equipped with a 187 kW petrol engine, which features a high-pressure turbo. It delivers 350 Nm of torque at 1 500 to 4 800 r/min.

Fuel consumption is a commendable 7,6 litres per 100 km (combined).

The range-topping Volvo XC90 T8 Geartronic AWD has a 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) petrol engine that is also supercharged and turbocharged. It works in conjunction with an electric motor, delivering power of 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) and torque of 640 Nm (400 Nm + 240 Nm. Fuel consumption is a remarkable 2,1 litres per 100 km (combined) while emissions are a low 49 g/km.

Volvo Car South Africa is launching a new R-Design version of its award-winning XC90. R-Design models are the sportiest XC90s to date, featuring a range of design, dynamic and equipment upgrades to give Volvo’s SUV a sporty makeover.

The 2020 XC90 comes standard with Volvo On Call, an innovative app-based service that helps motorists to communicate with their cars.

It facilitates a multitude of tasks: with Volvo On Call, motorists can lock or unlock the doors to their car, check the fuel level and cool or heat their car – and they can do this all via their smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or desktop.

Maruszewski said Volvo on Call is a key to the digital world. “One app gives Volvo drivers control over their car’s functions. It also provides access to a world of convenient services. It becomes your personal assistant. It can tell you about the best coffee spots in town and send the destination to your car’s navigation system. It knows when you have appointments, where they are and how to get you there,” he said.

South African motorists will particularly appreciate the associated safety and security benefits. “Motorists who forget to lock their car will get a notification message. And Volvo On Call automatically contacts the emergency services if you are involved in an accident and tells them where you are,” Maruszewski explains.

Other features of Volvo On Call include the ability to provide an in-car WiFi hotspot, which can be accessed by everyone in your car. “The signal is so strong that you can even stream music and films without having to worry about buffering,” says Maruszewski. An added benefit is the fact that the batteries of portable devices are not drained, leaving them ready for use when they are needed.

Anyone who has ever lost track of their car in a huge parking lot will also welcome Volvo On Call with open arms. “The app will show you the location of your car on a high-definition map, and then provide directions how to reach it. You can even ask your car to hoot and flash for five seconds to identify itself and guide you to its location,” says Maruszewski.

Volvo On Call is free of charge for five years. Thereafter, it can be extended for a fee.

CAPTION: Refreshing: the updated Volvo XC90. Picture: Motorpress

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