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2016 Volvo XC90 main facts

The main facts about the Volvo`s new flagship crossover are as follows:

1) Almost full-size SUV: about 193 inches long

Though full specs of the new XC90 haven`t been released yet, but it was confirmed that the Volvo`s flagship has grown up a bit: to about 193 inches long and about 76" wide.

At the same time the 2016 XC90 will be a little lower (to about 67"), but with the same or even more room inside and better-than-ever road stability.

Also the new crossover is about 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor, thanks to wide implementation of aluminum and super-high-strength steel, which promises better dynamics and fuel economy.

2) Scandinavian style: simple clean lines, attention to details

The 2016 XC90 is about to begin nothing less than new era of Volvo`s design.

Thomas Ingenlath, the lead designer of the crossover, mentions the following main features of the exterior:

- futuristic "Thor's Hammer" LED headlights, which are going to be Volvo`s brand feature

- high vertical taillights provide more lean and noble stance

- clean, simple silhouette but with huge attention with small details

3) "the most luxurious and the most "Swedish" interior in Volvo`s history"; natural materials and comfort for whole family

The 2016 XC90 also determines the new style of Volvo`s interiors:

- clean, relaxing design

- ambient lighting accentuates interior`s features

Family orientation

- each of 7 passengers has its own seat; theater-style seating with rear seats placed higher than the front ones provides good view for every passenger

- second-row seats recline and can be moved forward and backward

- integrated child seats

Natural materials inside:

- Bridge of weir Scottish leather on seats and steering wheel, stitched by hand with zigzag stitches

- trimming with Flame birth wooden panels, which grows only near the polar cycle and features fibers with unique snake-like pattern; therefore for every single vehicles, wood panels are chosen individually so they had the similar look

- trimming with real aluminum, brushed with special "harlequin" technique twice in opposite directions, providing unique glittering on the sun. Volvo describes this effect as similar to the one of certain watches by Vacheron Constantin

4) Apple CarPlay/ Google Android Auto infotainment system with intuitive interface and huge funcionality

The new Volvo XC90 has very little number if buttons inside, but large displays on the center console and dashboard, and also large head-up display.

A curious fact is that the center console`s display is not horizontal but portrait one: during the development this solution was approved as more comfortable for the driver (for example, providing better view ahead on the navigation system`s map).

And thanks to the Apple/Google infotainment systems, the Volvo`s interface allows multiple smartphone-like features like zooming the map with two fingers.

The center display also features infrared film which allows to use it even in gloves, in cold winter. Swedish developers do know how to use a smartphone in winter...

Also the system allows to open internet sites, download CarPlay apps and share Wi-Fi hotspot. What is more, Apple Car Play can:

- share your current location to your friends or family, so they could see where are you on map and when will you arrive

- search for parking place and pay for it

- make your own playlists at Pandora radio

- schedule car maintenance at a dealer

Also Android Auto system will be available

5) Premium comfort inside

The XC90`s comfort features include everything necessary for premium segment, though don`t invent anything extraordinary:

- the 4-zone climate system has multiple filters (including active carbon one, "the biggest ever fitted to a car"), and automatically switched to recirculating mode if the outside air is extremely polluted (for example, in a car jam in a tunnel, or an bad-smelling alien attack)

- High-end-class Bowers&Wilkins (BnW) audio/video system with 19 speakers, including subwooders and tweeters aimed at listeners` ears. Total output is 1400 Watts, and its promised that the XC90`s audio system is one of the best ever installed to a production vehicle. And it`s promised that not only front-seats occupants but all passengers will find the XC90`s audio system sound pleasureful

- multi-contour front sears with massage function and especially wide range of lumbar and thighs support

- hands-free, power tailgate which can be opened by waving a foot under the rear bumper (if the car`s key is in the pocket). It also features sensors to detect obstacles on the way of the tailgate to stop it before it touches anything

6) ultra-small turbo+supercharged engine with 316 HP, plus high-power hybrid with 400 hp

All the engines of the 2016 Volvo XC90 are ultra-modern turbo-charged ones, with only 2 liters of volume but very impressive specs.

In the US there will be two versions available:

- T6 (2-liter, turbo- and supercharged), which provides 320 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque.

The point of having both super- and turbocharging is that turbochargers usually provide high torque only on mid- and high revs, while the advantage of superchargers is good torque even at low revs. As a result, the new 2-liter T6 engine provides more power and torque than the old XC90`s 4.4-liter V8, with almost twice as less weight and better fuel efficiency (partly because of the engine`s efficiency, partly because of the new 8-speed automatic transmission).

All the versions will be all-wheel-drive (though the cheapest diesel version in Europe is expected to be only with front-wheel drive)

But the most interesting version of the new XC90 will feature not one but two engines, named T8 Twin Engine...

'T8 Twin Engine' model with almost 400 hp, gasoline+electric motors, upto 25-mile range on electricity and available plug-in charging

This version combines the most powerful gasoline engine and 80-hp electric motor, which provides sport-car level of power: almost 400 hp!

The battery of the electric engine can be charged both in motion and via electric outlet. And though the range is short, some owners with really brief daily trips might dramatically decrease there visits to gas stations.

The hybrid version of the new XC90 features several modes which the driver can chose on his (and on her) own:

- Auto (the car automatically switches between gas- and electric modes)

- Pure (the car drives only on electricity), providing the best efficiency, and almost silently

- Save for later (gasoline-only mode providing the soonest charging of batteries; might be useful if you`re about to enter a park or a city center which allows only electric vehicles)

The hybrid version also features exclusive transmission selector made of Orrefors glass crystal (this company from Sweden specializes in glass works since 19th century)

7) Car-like handling with adjustable "Comfort / Sport / Off-road/ etc" suspension

The XC90`s air suspension features adjustable shocks and ride height with the following options:

- Comfort mode (standard)

- Dynamic mode: harder and about 1-inch lower suspension

- Off-road: about 1.5-inch higher ride

- Eco: maximum fuel-economy mode with about 1-inch lower suspension and minimal engine revs

- also on parking the XC90 drops 1.5 inches to ease entering

8) New safety features: "our strategic goal is that by 2020 nobody would be ever killed in a Volvo"

The ambitions Volvo`s "IntelliSafe" strategy includes multiple yet-to-be-released safety solutions, like radio interaction between cars and road infrastructure, and many more. These technologies are still in development. but though some of new features make its debut in the 2016 XC90:

- CitySafety radars intergrated with active cruise-control scan and determine other cars, bikes, bicycles and pedestrians, alarming the driver about danger situations and automatically applying brakes when necessary

- the interior and the car`s controls are designed to minimize distraction of driver`s attention and help him (and her) not to get tired

Queue Assist helps to drive the car jams, automatically starting moving, stopping and keeping the distance to the front car. What is more, the new XC90 can even steer the wheel by itself, keeping the car right behind the front one.

- Lane-keeping system automatically returns the XC90 to the center of its lane, if the car tries to cross the line without turn signals and/or there are signs that the driver is tired or asleep

- Blind-spot control also scans space the sides and behind the XC90, not only alarming the driver about risk of collision but "opposing" the driver to maneuver into a parallel car

One might think that in 5 more years cars will be driving completely on autopilot, and... that`s exactly what Volvo is working on in its "strategy 2020" program. But this, probably, will be the perks of third-generation XC90.

9) Advanced voice control system with more "human" phrases like "too hot!" or "Dial Mike!"

Voice-control system of the 2016 XC90 has been raised to another level, with complete control of navigation sysyem (including voice recognition of addresses), climate control (the driver can say "too hot" and the system will decrease the temperature by on degree) etc.

Also the driver can control the audio system and radio, with phrases like "Play Johnny Cash" or "Turn to "Hits 1" radio station"

10) New personalization options: 2 factory body kits ("sport" and "off-road") and more

Besides Volvo`s traditionally wide choice of colors, wheels and leather, now two body kits will be available:

- Sport-style "Urban Luxury" kit with modified bumpers, fender extensions, side scuff plates and polished-steel rear bumper protection. Also this kit includes 21-inch wheels

- Off-road-style "Rugged Luxury" kit with black matte exterior trim,running boards, skid plates of stainless steel and...22-inch wheels

Goes on sale spring-2015, probably for about $60-75K for well-equipped versions

The 2016 Volvo XC90 goes on sale next spring, and it`ll probably make a step towards not only premium quality, but premium pricing as well.

Well-equipped gasoline-only versions will probably cost about $60 thousand (the "First edition" inaugural series is priced at $65K), while the 400-hp hybrid with premium equipment will probably cost about $75,000.