Volvo XC90
Volvo Cars North America President and CEO Dan Werbin discusses Volvo’s all-new XC90 January 7, 2002 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Click image to enlarge

Detroit, Michigan – Volvo’s first sport utility vehicle made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Volvo XC90, an all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger vehicle with turbocharged power and classic Volvo styling cues, will go on sale in Canada in the fall of 2002 as a 2003 model.

Based on the same passenger car architecture that is the basis for the Volvo S80 luxury sedan, the new XC90 marries car-like handling, comfort and convenience with the all-weather/all-surface security of electronically controlled All Wheel Drive (AWD) and 218mm of ground clearance.

The traditional Volvo emphasis on safety has inspired two innovations for the XC90: an active stability-enhancing system known as Roll Stability Control to reduce the possibility of the XC90 rolling over, and a chassis design that brings critical structural components of the SUV into alignment with those of a conventional automobile to protect the occupants of both vehicles in the event of a collision.

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Click image to enlarge

Other safety enhancements include Boron steel reinforced roof structure, extended Inflatable Curtain side impact protection for all three rows of seats, and the full complement of Volvo safety technology such as Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) seats, dual-stage deployment front airbags, pyrotechnic seatbelt pre-tensioners at all seating positions, and many other features. A new infra-red night vision system will improve drivers’ ability to detect people or animals on the road in the dark.

Despite its ability to carry seven passengers in three rows of forward-facing seats, the XC90 is just 87mm longer than the Volvo V70 station wagon. With a ‘cockpit-forward’ design to enhance available interior space and recognizable Volvo design elements, from the upright, egg-crate grille at the front to familiar tail lamps at the rear, XC90 is immediately recognizable as a Volvo, says Volvo Car Corporation Vice President and chief Designer Peter Horbury. “Nobody should be in any doubt this is a modern Volvo,” says Horbury.

Fuel efficiency and environmental impact considerations were priorities in the design of the Volvo XC90. Two turbocharged engines are available. The 2.5-litre in-line 5-cylinder version with low pressure turbo generates 208 hp with 236 ft. lbs. of torque, and meets the 2004 ULEV II standard. The 2.9-litre twin-turbo 6-cylinder powerplant turns out 268 hp with 280 ft. lbs. of torque and qualifies XC90 for Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) status.

The highly flexible interior features the integration of elegant Swedish form and function, and offers a unique rear seat entertainment package. The XC90 also marks the world debut of Dolby Prologic II audio technology in an automobile system.

About 450 XC90’s are earmarked for Canada during 2002. Price of the XC90 will be announced later this year.

Connect with