All-new XC90 will be the first Volvo built on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture
Volvo’s all-new XC90 – which will be revealed in two weeks’ time in Stockholm – will be the first car in its range to be built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular chassis technology developed in-house.
SPA has been under in-house development at Volvo for the past four years and is the cornerstone of the company’s ongoing 11 billion dollar transformation plan. It will be introduced with the all-new XC90 and then rolled out across the product range in future.
The benefits of SPA are twofold. First, the flexibility of SPA liberates Volvo’s engineers and designers, allowing them to devise and introduce a wide range of new and alluring design features while also improving driveability, introducing world-first safety features, offering the latest connected car technologies and creating more interior space.
“SPA and the XC90 are firm evidence of our Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. The XC90’s outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 did in 2002,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group.
Secondly, SPA will change the way Volvo builds cars in future by allowing a wide range of cars, powertrains, electrical systems and technologies – all of differing complexity – to be fitted on the same architecture, generating significant economies of scale.
“SPA gives us a fresh technological start. Around 90 percent of the components in the all-new XC90 and upcoming models are new and unique. We are raising the bar to the very top of the premium league when it comes to the quality and technology level in every vital area,” said Mertens.
More freedom for designers
SPA offers more design possibilities than ever in areas such as wheelbase, overhang, vehicle height and the height of the front of the vehicle.
“This has created greater freedom for us to design cars with a confident stance, dynamic proportions and a number of distinctive design signatures. Our three recent concept cars have demonstrated this capability. Even though the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed in two weeks,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.
Outstanding driving pleasure and flexibility
The new SPA chassis technology reduces weight and improves weight distribution, improving driving pleasure without compromising on ride comfort.
SPA also allows for far more flexibility inside the car. The all-new XC90 features innovatively designed seats that free up interior space for passengers in the second and third rows, helping make the all-new XC90 a genuine seven-seater.
The sliding function on all seats in the second row can be used to create more legroom for passengers in the third row – or to increase loading capacity. The seats in the third row offer class-leading comfort for passengers up to 5 feet 7 inches tall.
“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first no-compromise SUV,” said Mertens. “You get the agility of a much smaller and lower car, an in-command feel and generous interior space, plus an adrenaline rush delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and low emissions. Of course, it carries the Volvo badge, meaning world-class safety is standard.”
Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency
The all-new XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency. This modular family of two-liter, four-cylinder engines has several levels of turbocharging to cover the whole range from high power and torque variants to fuel-efficient versions. The 316 hp, T6 supercharged and turbocharged gasoline engine will be offered in the U.S.
The top-of-the-range XC90 T8 twin engine plug-in hybrid combines a two-liter, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged engine with an electric motor and offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation – around 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). This will make it the only 7-seat plug-in hybrid SUV available in the U.S.
SPA is also able to integrate electrification at all levels without intruding on interior space or load space. Other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, something that Volvo has managed to overcome with SPA.
Improved safety without compromises
SPA helps make it possible for Volvo to bolster the company’s world-leading reputation for safety without compromising on design, size or weight. Thanks to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel, SPA cars can be made more compact and safer at the same time.
SPA also includes an innovative electrical architecture that elevates the car’s intelligence level significantly. It is designed to make it easy to integrate new technology within fast-moving areas such as microprocessor, sensor and camera technology. This facilitates the introduction of new accident-preventing safety solutions – and enables rapid introduction of new multimedia and connectivity options.
“We have created a single nerve system with full control over all the connections in the vehicle. This is unique in the industry,” said Mertens.
In addition to the significant product-related advantages of the scalable architecture there are also industrial benefits.
SPA allows Volvo to develop a model range consisting of cars based on the same joint modules and interfaces, scalable systems and components and built in a flexible production system. This means all Volvo models from the 60-cluster upwards can be built on the same production line irrespective of complexity.
The new face of Volvo: ‘Thor’s Hammer’ running lights
Today, for the first time, Volvo is revealing images of the front end or ‘face’ of the all-new XC90 SUV, which is distinguished by its T-shaped running lights, christened ‘Thor’s Hammer’ by the design team after the shape of the hammer used by the famous Norse god of thunder Thor.
“Anyone who looks in their rear-view mirror is going to know immediately that there is a new XC90 behind them,” said Ingenlath. “The XC90 is a car that has presence on the road.”
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCNA media website at: http://www.media.volvocars.com/us and follow Volvo’s blog at: www.volvoblog.us.
Volvo Ocean 65s neck and neck in Solent
COWES, England – Five Volvo Ocean Race boats are currently neck and neck in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race, which began at 0900 this morning.
Our fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s is leading the monohulls as they exit the English Channel. Currently in front is the Spanish team - whose title sponsor has yet to be announced - skippered by Iker Martínez, and Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team are a close runner-up.
In third place, Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are pushing the front two hard, and being pursued by the all-female Team SCA. Rhode Island’s Team Alvimedica, skippered by Charlie Enright, currently find themselves some way behind their rivals in fifth position.
To find out more, go to the official race tracker.
The event, which marks the first time that so many of the new Volvo Ocean Race 65s have raced against each other, was originally due to start a day earlier, at midday on Sunday – but was pushed back due to stormy weather blowing in from across the Atlantic.
And despite the warmer and more settled conditions today, the race route was reversed, which means that the fleet will sail anti-clockwise around the isles, rather than the traditional clockwise.
In spite of the changes, the boats were still faced with strong winds, and that meant that they had no problems slipping quickly into race mode – with Team SCA grabbing pole position during the early exchanges.
Despite pressure from Dongfeng Race Team and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the girls held their own – and as the boats passed Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, they hung on to a narrow lead.
But the gap to first place was soon closed by their rivals, and a late charge from the Spanish team saw Martínez’s crew edge ahead following an underwhelming start.
It was a fast and ferocious beginning to proceedings by the teams, and the tricky conditions were underlined by news of an injury to Dongfeng Race Team’s Pascal Bidégorry.
The experienced French navigator collided with another crew member, lost balance and fell, injuring his hand. The resulting cut required four stitches.
Team Alvimedica’s Will Oxley, who has completed two campaigns previously, spoke before the beginning of the race about the difficulties that the notoriously testing route would raise.
“It’s a great race track, one of the best in the world, and from a navigator’s perspective, it’s very, very busy,” he said.
“It will also give us more time to work together, to tackle decisions, and go through the decision-making process, so that it is as smooth as it can be come race time in the Volvo Ocean Race.”
And his team made one big decision earlier this week, as they announced their final crew member ahead of the first leg October start in Alicante.
Matt Noble, a 28-year-old San Francisco native, will be onboard for the race around Britain – and has known his skipper for a long time.
“Sure, I’ve sailed with Charlie (Enright) and Mark (Towill) in the past - I crossed the Atlantic with them a few years ago,” explains Matt.
“Even then, they said that their goal was to get a Volvo Ocean Race campaign together – so when I heard they’d succeeded, I was really happy for them.”
So was his addition a long time coming, or was he surprised to receive the call from his skipper?
“I knew that there was a core of sailors who they’d be considering for the crew, and I was stoked to find out that my name was a little higher up that list than I thought!”
The announcement of Noble, who is currently engaged to be married and is due to get married next summer, is the second crew addition to the race in a week following Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s recruitment of seasoned Kiwi Daryl Wislang a couple of days earlier.
The team, skippered by Ian Walker, has also confirmed that Matt Knighton will fill the role of Onboard Reporter.
Having raced with third-placed Telefónica Blue and second-placed Camper in previous additions, 33-year-old bowman Daryl brings a wealth of experience to Azzam – and is keen to grab his first Volvo Ocean Race trophy.
“The real reason I’m back is the fact that I haven’t won one yet,” he says.
“It’s time to put that right, and I’m confident that the Abu Dhabi team gives me the best chance of that.”
For full details of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race visit the official website.
Dock Talk: Five Volvo Ocean Race Teams Face Off In Round Britain Test
ALICANTE, Spain - Iker Martinez’s Spanish team will try out potential new crew members as they make their way to the UK for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race this week.
The event, which starts on August 9 and is preceded by Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, will see five of the new, one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats navigate Britain’s 1,800 miles of notoriously tricky coastline.
Four other teams - Team SCA, Team Alvimedica, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng Race Team - will join Martinez’s crew at the start line of what is the final competitive test before the beginning of the Volvo Ocean Race in October.
And the Spaniard has drafted in Guillermo ‘Willy’ Altadill and Carlos Hernández to join his team for the practice race – as the pair attempts to secure a permanent place on board.
The Spanish team are currently some way behind their rivals in terms of preparation, and the skipper is relishing the opportunity to blood some new talent.
“We’d like to try 10 more guys but we just don’t have the time - that’s the problem with such a tight schedule,” he said.
At 21 and 27 respectively, the pair would both fill Under 30’s spots on board – but despite their relative youth, Martínez believes that they could prove to be valuable additions to his crew.
“They are good sailors, and have a lot of experience with large boats,” he said. “We have sailed together over the last few days, and both of them have performed very well. They are young, fit and possess a lot of technical ability.”
Meanwhile, Dongfeng Race Team have packed up their Lorient training base and are currently en route to the UK.
The trip is a particularly exciting one for their Chinese sailors, who have never visited the islands before.
“Multiple Chinese crew will take part in the race, which is a major step forward for China in terms of offshore sailing,” said Team Director, Bruno Dubois.
“There is still a lot to do but if we look at the big picture and our long-term goal, this is a first success,” he added.
“I am proud that in just six months, we’ve managed to reach this point.”
This week’s journey also represents a landmark occasion for Team SCA, who have waved goodbye to their Lanzarote training base after 18 months.
The girls are now well into their estimated eight-day sail to the UK, and Onboard Reporter Corinna Halloran believes that the trip is providing important practice for the race proper.
“We are well into a daily routine,” she said. “A routine that will sustain us for days during this delivery, but will sustain us for weeks during the longest of the legs.”
Having arrived in Southampton following a successful transatlantic crossing from Rhode Island, USA last week, Team Alvimedica have taken the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned break.
Skipper Charlie Enright was delighted with the performance of his team during the voyage, and believes that the unpredictable conditions they encountered only served to strengthen the spirit of his crew.
“I think the trip was incredible for the dynamic. It was the first time with eight crew members, and every little change had an effect in a positive direction,” he said.
“The Round Britain and Ireland Race is the next step for the team. We are using it as training, and trying to learn and hone our skills. It’s a big opportunity, and one we’re excited about.”
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing joined the Rhode Islanders on that transatlantic trip, and will also sail in the race around Britain.
The crew’s Emirati sailor, Adil Khalid, led their Eid festivities this week – and there was double cause for celebration as skipper Ian Walker announced the crew’s ‘One4Azzam’ competition winner.
Keith Burhans, a 58-year-old paralympian from the USA, secured the most votes in the online contest, and will now take his place on board Azzam for the 50-mile Artemis Challenge in Cowes on August 7th.
“Getting the chance to sail with them is a dream come true – a real bucket-list opportunity,” he said.
Meanwhile, as the rest of the teams prepare to test themselves offshore, Team Brunel are staying firmly on land in order to ensure that they are in the best possible shape for the race.
Along with fitness trainer Dominic Ramino, the crew have been putting in the hours at the gym, and their experienced skipper Bouwe Bekking feels that his team could reap the benefits of that physical superiority when it comes to the big race.
“We have been in the gym every morning for five months. With the help of Ramino, we will stand strong at the start in Alicante,” he said.
And as the beginning of the first leg draws nearer, Pablo Díaz-Munio has been appointed as Race Doctor for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Having worked closely with Ericsson Racing Team in 2008-9, and been the Official Team Doctor for Team Teléfonica in 2011-12, the Spaniard knows all too well the challenges that a race around the world can pose.
“In an event this extreme, minor problems can become major problems, and major problems can become emergencies,” he said.
Díaz-Munio has also accompanied record-breaking mountaineer Edurne Pasaban on three Himalayan campaigns.