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Express Contact: Volvo XC90

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Lela S. Storey. volvo. May 05th , 2017.

The new Volvo SUV will arrive by year-end. Our Argentine correspondent, Carlos Cristófalo could already handle over two days in the Atacama Desert in Chile. More than a car, it's an interesting lesson about the Swedish concept of luxury. Full review below. The first Volvo XC90, launched in 2002, was a worldwide bestseller. But their production cycle was longer than usual. It was marketed for twelve years and in that period, all competitors had a great leap in design, technology and quality. It happens that there was a sharp change of course, over the years, in the history of Volvo. The brand, which belonged to Ford, was sold to Chinese automaker Geely. And, when many feared for the future of the identity of the Swedish company, the Chinese gave the green light (and the necessary funding) for the Scandinavian engineers to design, develop and manufacture the most luxurious model in the path of Volvo. The XC90 was born with a mandate to provide the Swedish view of the concept of luxury. And it was launched with the aim of achieving an even more exclusive than the first generation of the Volvo XC90 positioning. The model will arrive in Country officially the end of the year. Despite this, in our country at the moment there is already a circulating unit (brought on request) with the more powerful for our region (T6) engine and gasoline engine with the most complete equipment, called Inscription. For two days we handle a Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the regional launch of the model was performed. The complete review is reproduced below.

Exterior

There seems XC90. In fact, neither it looks like a Volvo. The new generation of the large SUV segment took a huge leap in design, but especially in dimensions: the XC90 is 15 centimeters longer than the previous generation (to nearly five meters long) and has three m wheelbase. It is also very wide, two meters. The XC90 is no longer a discreet and aesthetic familiera truck. Now is a striking luxury SUV, with ostentatious proportions, chrome bright, immaculate paint work and huge tires. In some markets will come standard with 19-inch wheels, but the unit we tested wore a thick Optional roll: 275/40 R21 Pirelli Scorpion. In the trunk the big grille and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are out. These LEDs are drawing from a lying T, which-beard Odín- Swedish baptized as "Hammer of Thor". The side is solid and good ground clearance: 238 mm. In the rear is the only tribute to the old Volvo XC90: the zigzag optical copying the contour of the flanks, but now with dimensions greater than ever. In addition to this Inscription version will offer the R-Design sports package as optional. You will have several specific items on the grid, tires, front spoiler and rear diffuser.

Interior

The Volvo XC90 is a modern interpretation of the concept of Swedish luxury. And this is seen nowhere as much as in the cockpit. It is a sophisticated space, but warm. Technology, though friendly. Luxurious, not overdone. The Inscription version is known for offering a superb finishes walnut, brushed aluminum and leather with double stitching. It is a pleasure to the eye and touch. These handmade tiles contrast with the passenger information that is completely digital: So the board, as the multimedia system and the climate control commands (four areas) are using touch screens and commands. Along with the shift lever more contrasts: on the command is not a key or a button. Instead, there is a silver and faceted as that to turn on or turn off the engine. Next to him is a small roller (also silver and faceted) to choose four possible driving modes: Eco, Normal, Comfort and Dynamic. The seats are so beautiful and functional. They have a slim and sporty design, with multiple settings, including extensible bench, something great for those who have long legs. All XC90 for our region will come standard with three rows of seating, a trait that will help them get open easily from many rivals in this segment. The second row has three individual seats. Each is folded separately and are sliding, to vary the available space for the third row. The two passengers of the last line will have to work a little harder to get to their seats, but, once there-will meet the same level of convenience as other passengers. The cabin is bright and the Inscription versions come with a huge panoramic roof. With all three rows in use still reasonable for some luggage space: the volume ranges between 314 and 1868 liters capacity. But back to the center console. There is a huge 12.3-inch tablet, arranged vertically and plenty of inspiration in the popular iPad. As the Apple device has a single button and is to take you to the main menu. The touch system recognizes commands for panning. It is best to review all possibilities available: music, satellite navigation, telephone, climate control, vehicle functions, parking cameras and downloadable applications. From the Argentine point of view I must say that this tablet is very exposed to the eye and can not be hidden. However, from the pragmatic position of the Swedish engineer who made this inquiry, we must admit that it is so large that it is impossible to imagine a way to hide it. "Sorry, what country are you from?" He said -after this explanation Gentile descendant of Olaf. One paragraph deserves the spectacular Bowers & Wilkins. The audio is almost as much power as the Volvo XC90 turbo engine, plus a battalion of speakers, subwoofers and tweeters. But also has a real sound engineering, such as automatic synchronization and coordination, so that sounds like the cabin in the front row of a live concert. On the acoustic side rather help double glazing, which are unique to the Inscription version.

Engine and transmission

Under the hood, the new Volvo model raises another revolution. The Swedish brand was taken very seriously downsizing and fashion, this new generation of the XC90, there will be only four-cylinder engines with 2.0 liter displacement. The idea of the brand is not only offering low fuel consumption and lower emissions. There is also the aim of the XC90 is exempt from taxes paid by vehicles of more than two liters in some markets. The gasoline engines are turbo T5 (254 hp) and T6 (320 hp). There is also a hybrid variant T8 (2.0 turbocharged gasoline engine with an electric motor and which together deliver 408 hp). The T6 has a direct, two systems injection and intercooler boost: turbo-compressor. Between them, not only fail to extract 320 donkeys to 2.0, also get 400 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 5,400 rpm. All XC90 for our region will have all-wheel drive with a Haldex system that is capable of sending up to 50% of torque to the wheel with better traction. You can also send 80% of torque to the rear axle all, if there is loss of grip on the front wheels. All boxes are automatic, with an eight-speed Aisin model, with torque converter.

Dynamic behavior

Along with the XC90 debuts the new Scalable Platform Architecture Volvo, called SPA for its acronym in English. It is the structural basis to be used by future brand models, for different sizes and segments. Modular platforms enable manufacturers to save costs and amortizing major investments in new technologies, but the big challenge is always to make the platforms to adapt to different niches and mechanical. Well, the SPA Volvo debuts the hardest requirement: a luxury vehicle with all-wheel drive, hybrid versions and suspension layout invites lie on the ground to appreciate it. It has a scheme of double arm front axle and the rear multilink architecture, with lots of aluminum parts. In some markets, the Volvo XC90 is available with air suspension as an option, but for now that possibility is not available in our region. To talk about the experience at the wheel of the XC90, he would first have to explain what it consistó test drive. It was two full days in the Atacama Desert, the driest and one of the largest in the world. It is the heart of Chile's mineral wealth, with all that this implies contrasts. We use as bases to the cities of Calama and San Pedro de Atacama, to go dirt roads, gravel sections, occasional ford, vast salt flats, mountain sections with asphalt and straight valleys dynamited pavements of European perfection. Of course, the XC90 was adapted perfectly to all surfaces. And not just because it is an SUV with AWD. He did it because the itinerary was approved (and tested) in advance by the very test pilots Volvo. But we must also admit that there are areas that you feel better than others. For example, the huge low-profile wheels are spectacular to look at and go as punch on good asphalt, but are somewhat rough and murmuring when the pavement is not the best. Not that the vehicle suffers under these conditions, but that detail is remarkable in a cabin with an almost perfect insulation. And the Volvo XC90 is the closest thing to flying on a cloud, where even the engine sound gives you the slightest clue about the speed or speed that is working. In fact, in Eco mode, the digital tachometer board disappears and is replaced by a great indicator that reports the level of consumption. Between the silence of the engine and the smoothness of the gear step, it is not very interesting to use the change in sequentially. No inertia or shocks that encourage sporty driving. It happens that, for its small displacement, this engine will never be surprised by a tsunami of torque, as with rivals larger displacement and number of cylinders. The mechanical response is linear and efficient without major surprises and emotions. So surely, the Volvo XC90 does not even have the wheel cams. Not a fun vehicle to invite, handling as Stig Blomqvist or Ronnie Peterson. It is best to leave the change in Drive and let go, like a cloud. The address is correct and can vary the hardness programmed with different modes. The brakes are amazing, especially when we talk about a vehicle over two tons. And the benefits are not bad for this engine that makes an apology for donwsizing. This T6 version accelerates from 0-100 km / h in 6.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 230 km / h. But that is not the greatest virtue of the XC90. His expertise lies in providing the feeling of traveling in a bubble. A very large, elegant and Swedish bubble. With the Bowers & Wilkins ringing the taco.

Security

It is a Volvo. Are you ready for the onslaught of devices? Here it goes: seven airbags, ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist emergency, stability control, traction control, warning lane change with automatic steering correction, child seats integrated into the second row of seats (rises the sidewalk so that the seat belt hold either a child) and automatic braking City (City Safety), able to discern between a car, a bicycle or a pedestrian. Volvo has proposed that by 2020, no one is killed or seriously injured in a new model of the brand. Therefore, with each new release of unpublished safety devices are released. In the case of the Volvo XC90, the novelty comes from the side of Run Off-Road Protection system. It is a set of preventive measures taken by the vehicle to detect that went off the road. Instantly, the following commands are triggered: seat belts are tightened (and maintained with the highest level of adjustment until the vehicle stops), a special buffer is released at the base of the front seat (to prevent damage column if the vehicle strikes hard against the floor) and in case the airbags (strong deceleration signal) is activated, the brake pedal is retracted to prevent damage to the driver's legs. The new XC90 has not yet been tested by EuroNCAP. There are great expectations for the outcome.

Conclusion

Users will be very few old XC90 that will buy this new generation. The generation gap is huge, especially in price. For example, in markets such as Argentina, the values range between 220,000 and $ 230,000, while for Country is still no defined values. Anyway we know that the Volvo XC90 will be positioned in the segment of the most expensive, luxurious and unique to our market SUV. To have seating for seven, their direct competitors are quite narrow: Land Rover Discovery 4, Mercedes-Benz GL and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. This list could also include the new Range Rover Sport. Both Discovery and the Toyota are luxurious, but rustic touch. Aimed at an audience who seek a more intense than usual off-road use. The GL, however, has a similar pose to the Volvo, but with completely opposite philosophies. While Mercedes is betting on the brutality of a V8 4.7-liter engine, Volvo complies with four cylinders and 2.0 liters just to deliver about 320 hp civilized. It is a declaration of principles. Volvo know that it is difficult to face the Germans when it comes to raw power. And so they bet with the XC90 to explore how to interpret the Swedish luxury. With a stunning design, but platitudes. With excellent performance, through rational mechanics. And a high level of comfort, but not baroquisms or ostentation. With the XC90, Volvo proposed a clash of cultures with their direct competitors. They have plenty of experience in this area. Is that no one expected, the cross between Swedish and Chinese engineering funding, born such an amazing vehicle. A cloud. Floating in the middle of the desert.


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