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Background to the Volvo XC90

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Source: Volvo Car Corporation.

New features, Volvo XC90, model year 2008 - brief summary

New features, Volvo XC90, model year 2009 - brief summary

XC90 2002 -

Volvo XC90 was by far the biggest news ever from Volvo when it was unveiled at the Detriot Auto Show in the beginning of 2002. The Volvo XC90 is a relatively compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).

Volvo XC90 is the most flexible car ever built by Volvo. It seats up to seven passengers, all with equal safety, regardless of where in the car they are riding. Volvo XC90 drives lika car, but loads like a wagon, thanks to generous inner height and the easily accessible boot with the split folding tailgate, rather like the tailgate of the classic Volvo P220 Amazon Estate from 1962.

During the end of 2004 a new engine option was introduced for Volvo XC90. A V8 engine, the first V8 engine produced for a Volvo car. This engine has a displacement of 4.4 L and delivers 315 hp.

Model: Volvo XC90
Produced: 2002 0n
Volume: Production running
Body: 5-door Sports Utility Vehicle
Engine: 5-cyl in-line DOHC, 2.521 cc, 6-cyl in-line 2.922 cc, V8 4.414 cc or 5-cyl in-line DI Turbo Diesel 2.401 cc
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 5- or 6-speed automatic
Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes all round
Dimensions: Overall length 480 cm, wheelbase 286 cm

The Volvo XC90 was launched in early 2002 as the first purpose-built SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) to come from Volvo Cars. It is also Volvo’s first seven-seat car since the 1940s. The Volvo XC90 has electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive. It has the capacity to forge ahead on very poor roads, but is primarily intended as a spacious passenger car with excellent driving manners, immense safety and intelligent versatility.

Five-door SUV – a crossover model that combines the passenger car’s comfort and comfort with excellent get-you-there ability and flexibility. The Volvo XC90 is designed to give a robust yet at the same time compact and elegant impression. It is built as a passenger car, with a unitary body and the same type of chassis as that found in Volvo’s sedan models – unlike some other SUV models that are built on a truck chassis. The Volvo XC90 comes with five or seven seats, depending on specification. The passenger compartment is very spacious, thanks not least to Volvo’s modern powertrain concept with transverse engine installation. The seats are placed high to give the driver a commanding view over the traffic and the passengers a comfortable seating position. All the passenger seats can be folded. The tailgate is divided into an upper and a lower section. This makes the Volvo XC90 a very flexible and versatile car. The top model in the range is the exclusive Volvo XC90 Executive, which features equipment and comfort of exceptional quality.

Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety that encompasses both Preventive and Protective safety. Preventive safety is closely linked to the car’s driving properties. The body of the Volvo XC90 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road (see also under "Powertrain and Chassis"). Ground clearance is high to offer good get-you-there ability on poor roads. Despite this, the floor is set low down, which contributes to the car’s low centre of gravity and excellent directional stability. Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System) which for instance delays incoming phone calls in complex traffic situations that require the driver’s undivided attention.

BLIS – Blind Spot Information System – registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot alongside the car and alerts the driver via a visual signal.

Active Bi-Xenon Light – moving headlight beams that follow the curvature of the road – help maintain the best possible visibility in the dark on twisting roads.

Volvo XC90 can be equipped with an optional tyre pressure control system – TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System).

Protective safety in the Volvo XC90 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision. The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. Thanks to its unitary body, the Volvo XC90 has been able to be built with the same type of deformation zone as Volvo’s other car models. The body is built in the form of a metal cage where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.

A gently rounded front and an extra beam below the front bumper help reduce the risk of injury to other road users. The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo XC90. Certain components have undergone further development specifically for the XC90 model. For instance, the Inflatable Curtain has been extended so it also covers passengers in the third row of seats. All seven seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all the car’s occupants always use their seat belts.

The Volvo XC90 features reinforced roll-over protection. An active stability-enhancement system (Roll Stability Control) activates if the car risks rolling over. Engine power is reduced, anti-roll bar stiffness is increased and the brakes are automatically applied to stabilise the car. If the car should roll over, a network of beams in the body structure helps distribute and absorb the resulting forces. In addition, an electronic sensor registers if the car is about to roll over and accordingly activates the seat belt pre-tensioners and the inflatable curtains.

Powertrain and chassis
The Volvo XC90 was launched with a range of five- and six-cylinder engines. All are fitted transversely in keeping with Volvo’s modern powertrain concept. They are designed to operate smoothly, with low vibration and high torque across a wide rev range. The T6 engine is a potent high-performance unit with twin turbochargers. In autumn 2004, a powerful aluminium V8 engine was added to the range, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The V8 engine too is installed transversely.

A completely new, in-line six-cylinder engine was launched in 2006. The engine is extremely compact and mounted transversely, for optimum crash safety and maximum cabin space

The chassis, with spring struts at the front and Multilink axle at the rear, is set up for stable, reassuring driving manners and alert steering response. The Multilink rear axle is an independent rear suspension system featuring a number of links and it is designed to offer a good combination of controlled wheel movements and high ride comfort. Some of these links have the task of providing a certain degree of anti-skid steering effect. A long wheelbase and wide track, together with a very torsionally rigid body, contribute to the predictable, controlled driving manners. Large wheels with a relatively tall tyre profile and stiff tyre sidewalls contribute further to stability.

The Volvo XC90 has Volvo’s electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive system with Instant Traction, for fast and effective distribution of traction even when moving off on a slippery surface. Volvo’s advanced DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability-enhancing system is fitted as standard. DSTC cuts in and helps stabilise the car if it registers any tendency to skid.

The environment
The Volvo XC90 is designed and equipped to impact as little as possible on the global environment and to offer a clean and healthy interior climate.

Petrol engines with low internal friction, efficient combustion and advanced exhaust filtration technology result in low emissions. Energy-efficient diesel engines with particle filters produce low emissions of carbon dioxide and soot particles. The engines in the Volvo XC90 can be optionally specified with a catalytic radiator coating – PremAir®. This system converts harmful ground-level ozone into pure oxygen as the car drives. Its benefits are greatest in dense city traffic and in strong sunlight.

Volvo’s IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) effectively reduces the amount of particles, pollen, gases and certain unpleasant odours in the air entering the cabin. All the textiles and leather upholsteries are certified according to ÖKO-TEX 100, an international standard that ensures that the interior trim is free from allergy-producing and hazardous substances.

The Volvo XC90 is made at the Volvo Torslanda plant in Göteborg, Sweden.

Production in previous years:
2003 69,604 cars
2004 88,861 cars
2005 90,860 cars

Technical specifications
Drive Permanent four-wheel drive with electronically controlled hydraulic clutch - All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction.
Chassis Front suspension with MacPherson spring struts. Independent Multilink rear axle.
DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard.
Dimensions mm: 
Length 4798
Width 1898
Height 1784
Track, front/rear 1634/1624
Wheelbase 2857
Aerodynamic coefficient, Cd 0.36
Frontal area m2 2.75

Engines Petrol 
Configuration Displacement cc Power kW/hp Torque Nm
 V8 V8 4414 232/315 440
 T6 I6 2922 200/272 380
 2.5T I5 2521 154/210 320

 D5 I5 2401 136/185 400
 2.4D I5 2401 120/163 340

Volvo XC90

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