September 13, 2004
Volvo XC90 to get V8 powertrain
Goteborg, Sweden – Volvo will show an XC90 with a V8 engine, 6-speed automatic
transmission and the latest-generation AWD system at the Paris Motor Show on
September 23. The car will be available in Canada in the 2006 model year.
The new V8 engine is the first V8 the company has produced since it was founded in
1927, and the Volvo XC90 is the first model to be powered by the new engine.
“An SUV in the premium segment needs a V8, especially in the North American market
where we sell about 60 percent of all the XC90s we make,” explains Hans Wikman,
Volvo Cars Vice President, Vehicle Line Large Cars.
One absolute requirement for the new V8 engine was that it had to be installed
transversely in the engine compartment, just like all other Volvo engines.
“We’ve tailored this V8 specifically for the XC90,” confirms Wikman. “A transverse
engine is helpful in maintaining the frontal crumple zones in the XC90 and thus not
compromise on protective safety.”
For this reason, extremely compact external dimensions were essential for the new
engine. This led to developing an engine with just 60 degrees between the two banks
of cylinders as opposed to the more conventional 90 degrees. Preventing the inherent
imbalance of a 60-degree ‘V’ configuration is a counter-rotating balance shaft.
In order to maintain its overall compact dimensions, all the ancillary devices such
as the alternator are fitted directly onto the engine itself without any
space-stealing brackets. The starter motor is fitted above the transmission for the
The result is a V8 that is just 754 mm long and 635 mm wide – the most compact on
the market compared to engines of equivalent volume. The new engine is the cleanest
gasoline-powered V8 on the market today. It meets the American ULEV II (Ultra Low
Emission Vehicle, stage II) requirements and the forthcoming Euro 5 requirements for
Europe – something no other gasoline V8 has yet managed.
The 4.4-litre Volvo XC90 V8 produces 315 horsepower and its torque output – the most
important characteristic of a V8 engine in this application – is 320 lb.-ft. at 3900
rpm. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.0 seconds and fuel consumption is
estimated to be 13.0 litres/100 km. Top speed is limited to 210 km/h (190 km/h in
the USA). The new 6-speed transmission is of Geartronic type, to allow shifting to
be done manually.