Volvo Cars reveals its adventurous side with new V90 Cross Country
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has unveiled the eagerly awaited V90 Cross Country, completing its 90 Series line-up.
Since the introduction of the first Cross Country almost 20 years ago, Volvo Cars has become synonymous with the rugged all-road, all-weather product category, with a growing stable of Cross Country models.
Volvo Cars’ Cross Country models fulfil an increasingly important part of the Swedish automaker’s product portfolio as luxury car buyers seek out a more experienced-based lifestyle that occasionally takes them off the beaten track.
“The V90 Cross Country takes the elegance of the V90 and transforms it into an all-road car that delivers safety, comfort and performance in a capable and adventurous package,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.
With some of the harshest winters on the planet and over 77 percent of the country covered in forest and lakes, Sweden is the natural place to develop and test extreme durability and all-weather capable cars. This hard-won expertise represents a large part of Volvo Cars’ heritage, reflected in the company’s Cross Country model line-up.
“Our cars are well known for their safety, strength and durability. With All-Wheel Drive, increased ride height, and a chassis optimized for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions, the new V90 Cross Country takes our versatile V90 estate and adds the heart of an explorer,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
With Volvo Cars’ Scalable Product Architecture providing the underpinnings, the V90 Cross Country has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it can survive the extremes in which it will ultimately find itself.
From secret testing facilities in the frozen north of Sweden, where temperatures regularly hit -40 degrees to the searing desert heat of Arizona, where Volvo Cars performs its high temperature testing program, the V90 Cross Country has been built to last.
With a design that clearly stands out from the crowd, the V90 Cross Country’s rugged character belies a sumptuous interior that delivers a level of luxury uncommon in the segment, combining all the benefits of the connectivity and entertainment features that were launched with the new S90 and V90, including a high-end sound system by Bowers & Wilkins.
The V90 Cross Country’s exterior design cues communicate the powerful and dynamic capability that the car exemplifies, while offering the flexibility to choose from both rugged and elegant expressions.
“Designing a Volvo Cross Country is not a styling exercise, a plastic job. It is based on honest capability. The Volvo V90 Cross Country brings a surprising and intriguing combination of a strong, powerful exterior and a luxurious, Scandinavian interior. It will continue the genuine tradition of the Volvo Cross Country with a new recipe: The blend of powerful off-road capability in a most elegant, sophisticated, tailored wagon suit,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
The new V90 Cross Country takes this well-established segment to a new level of comfort-inspired capability. Production of the car is set to start this autumn at Volvo Cars Torslanda Plant in Sweden.
Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment, starts today
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has officially kicked off Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment. This morning it produced the very first autonomous car that will be used in the Drive Me project in Gothenburg.
The autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV was finalized in Volvo Cars’ special manufacturing facility in Torslanda this morning and is the first in a series of autonomous cars that will eventually be handed to real families in Gothenburg to be driven on public roads.
Volvo is the industry leader in the area of automotive safety and believes the introduction of AD technology promises to reduce car accidents. Furthermore, AD technology promises to free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allows drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.
Volvo currently offers a semi-autonomous functionality called Pilot Assist on its 90 series cars. Pilot Assist gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to 130 km/h without the need to follow another car. The Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones around Gothenburg, powered by what Volvo calls the Autonomous Driving Brain.
The Swedish company, whose name is synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its vision that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.
It is the customer-focused approach that sets the Drive Me project apart from other autonomous driving experiments. Instead of relying purely on the research of its own engineers, Volvo aims to collect feedback and inputs from real customers using these autonomous cars in their everyday lives.
By choosing this customer-focused approach, Volvo aims to further fine-tune its autonomous driving technologies and make its offering as relevant as possible to customers ahead of a commercial introduction around 2021.
“This is an important milestone for the Drive Me project,” said Erik Coelingh, Senior Technical Leader Active Safety at Volvo Cars, as he observed the final touches being put to the car. “Customers look at their cars differently than us engineers, so we are looking forward to learn how they use these cars in their daily lives and what feedback they will give us.”
After rolling of the production line, the Drive Me customer cars will undergo a rigorous testing phase to ensure that the cars’ advanced autonomous driving technology functions exactly as they should. Once this testing phase, overseen by Volvo’s highly capable engineers, is finalized the cars will be handed over to the customers participating in the Drive Me pilot.
The Drive Me pilot project in Gothenburg is the first in a number of planned public trials with autonomous driving Volvo cars. A similar project to the one in Gothenburg will be launched in London next year, while Volvo is also assessing bids from interested cities in China to launch a Drive Me project there within the next few years.
Volvo also actively engages in strategic partnerships in the area of autonomous drive technology. Last month, it launched a new partnership with ride-sharing company Uber to jointly develop the next generation of autonomous driving cars. Earlier this week, Volvo revealed it will set up a new jointly-owned company together with leading automotive supplier Autoliv to develop next generation autonomous driving software.
Volvo Cars travels down a familiar road with the coming V90 Cross Country
Volvo Cars’ instrumental role in defining the adventurous Cross Country segment is widely acknowledged. With the imminent reveal of the new V90 Cross Country, the Swedish carmaker is set to cement its leading role in producing vehicles that are elegant in style and rugged for outdoor adventures.
“Cross Country has become the true expression of a Volvo car in many peoples’ eyes. It was a winning concept from the start, perfect for the tough climate and road conditions that we experience in Sweden,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.
Developed in 1996, the first Cross Country combined functional flexibility and rugged capability. Today, 20 years later, the Cross Country segment is a familiar sight across the premium car market, providing a capable, yet comfortable driving experience.
Extreme climate capability
Designed to cope with the demanding requirements of an extreme Scandinavian climate, Cross Country models perform in all sorts of road conditions – from muddy tracks and knee-deep snow to long distance highway driving. Proving a popular choice with horse and boat owners thanks to its high ground clearance, pulling power and responsive All-Wheel Drive, Cross Country has cemented its position as a premium mainstay and a true all-weather alternative to the SUV.
“We were very careful from the very beginning to ensure that the Cross Country concept was not just an exercise in rugged styling. We placed high demands on real-world capability, and as we developed the segment we added the comfort and convenience elements that Volvo drivers have come to expect,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
The eagerly awaited V90 Cross Country will be revealed in mid-September.