Honest and upfront, we have been anxiously awaiting the reveal of the new 2015 Volvo XC90 crossover this year as the story of Volvo is about to take on a new chapter with this very important new product.
And this week, the safety brand from Sweden finally lifted the veil off their range-topping 2015 XC90 seven-passenger crossover, the first all-new vehicle from the brand since the divorce from Ford back in 2010.
Now that we can see it, the XC90 is indeed quite striking. The face is fresh and its silhouette has a bold shouldered look that’s decidedly upscale. It takes Volvo into some new ground for detail design but retains the styling DNA that will make it instantly recognizable.
Volvo spent three years and $11 Billion across all facets of the company to bring the XC90 to this day. This includes development of the all new Scalable Product Architecture, new Drive-E power-trains, and a host of new driver safety technologies.
Important to not is that the new 2015 Volvo XC90 represents more than just one new product. This new vehicle is a threshold into a new era for the brand, now free to visualize and create again products that embody the Volvo ethos and soul.
Big news is what motivates. The most powerful XC90 T8 is also the most efficient and environmentally friendly. It gets what Volvo calls a “Twin Engine” power-train – a 2.0 liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels with an electric motor powering the rear wheels.
The system performs as a hybrid vehicle switching between gasoline and electric power sources, and operate on electric only, and can combined both for top acceleration with some 400 total system horsepower.
Being a plug-in hybrid, we expect that the ultimate fuel economy for the T8 will be surprisingly close to that of many small hybrid compact economy cars. If you don’t want hybrid, you do have other options.
The mainstream XC90 T6 will feature standard all-wheel drive with the 2.0 liter Drive-E supercharged and turbocharged gasoline engine. This power-train offers up 320 horsepower delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
A third power-train not yet announced for the States, but will be offered elsewhere is the D5. The 2.0 liter twin-turbo diesel offers an impressive 225 horsepower and 347 ft-lb of torque. Also delivering power through an 8-speed automatic, we can only hope Volvo will offer this engine in the States.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 builds its safety portfolio first on a robust structure with vast use of high-strength boron steel. Secondly, a multitude of new passive systems react in the event of a crash to reduce injuries.
And the third layer of safety is the newest frontier for Volvo, which now includes a vast array of crash-prevention systems. These range from the now common driver alerts for lane departures, impending crashes, and obstacles to full-on crash avoidance features which go to the next level.
Notable are two new world-first technologies including a sophisticated “run-off road” protection capability as well as a new auto brake at intersection functionality to the crash-prevention portfolio.
The run-off road system comes into play where you might veer off the highway into surroundings. Sensing departure from the road and possible terrain contact the front safety belts are tightened while a special system in the front seat frames helps to prevent spine injuries by absorbing vertical forces.
Auto brake at intersection activates if you make a turn in front of an on-coming car. Radar sensors can detect the oncoming vehicle and should you make that turn, the system can stop your car from proceeding along with a visual and audible warning.
As we have shown you before, the other major move for the 2015 Volvo XC90 is the step up in luxury and interior technology. Volvo says the XC90’s interior is the most luxurious ever as well as offering the best drive experience to date.
Counter to recent Volvo design, the confusing sea of buttons has been replaced by a visually simple tablet style touch screen. While some redundant hard controls remain, the new touch screen becomes the heart and soul of controlling infotainment systems.
Abounding are materials like soft leather and genuine wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass. The few traditional controls knobs are diamond-cut for a tactile feel.
Seating seven comfortably was a goal for the 2015 Volvo XC90. The new Scalable Product Architecture platform enabled seating placement and design which will afford more space and comfort inside, even for the third row.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 luxury crossover SUV will arrive in the United States in spring of 2015. Pricing, ultimate specifications like EPA fuel-economy and plug-in hybrid information will be released closer to launch.
For a more detailed review and photo galleries, see our partner channels ActivityVehicle.com and Motoring2.com .