Driving the Volvo XC90 Prototype on Ice
|   Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Volvo has been carrying on with winter tests on their latest XC90 at their North Proving Grounds, near Sweden and we were lucky enough to be invited for a test run on their vehicle. But first, let us remind you that this vehicle is nearing completion, as Volvo officially confirms that this vehicle has entered its last phase before production. We could therefore, expect this vehicle to hit production line, within the next 12 months.

Insiders have tested this vehicle with positive results and we were enthusiastic about finding out what Volvo had done with its new engine lineup, termed the VEA.
This features the use of both super chargers and turbo chargers, to produce sufficient levels of power. Surprisingly to some, its primary function is not speed or enhanced power delivery, but additional combustion in high altitudes, which in turn enhances fuel efficiency.

Built on an all wheel drive train, the XC90 is slated to be the ultimate winter car from Volvo so far. A high performance diesel powered variant of the VEA is expected to be unveiled soon, which is also expected to feature an all wheel drive train. This vehicle is based on the all new SPA platform from Volvo, which measures 4.55 meter x 5.07 meter and should be used beneath all future 40, 60 and 90 models from Volvo.

It has been composed out of ultra light weight steel, which should make it the lightest yet most flexible platform in class. Cast aluminum is used on its front strut lowers, which in turn increases stiffness on the double wish bone suspension up front. These are glued and riveted to its inner wings and steel bulkhead. In reality, the XC90 is a big car and is hence capable of accommodating a large amount of passengers.

Sufficient leg, head and shoulder space has been provided for maximum comfort and practicality. Volvo has also confirmed upgrading its seats, which are thinner than before, while sports a larger range of adjustments. It is not just comfortable, but also comes in various safety packages. Volvo claims that the third row seats on their XC90 are now capable of accommodating fully grown adults, although long journeys may not be quite as comfortable.

The VEA engine displaces close to 300 BHP, while an impressive torque displacement keeps the vehicle grounded at all times. You are bound to feel an electric humming at times and that is pretty natural. Volvo is currently offering five and six cylinder engine options on their XC90, while a top speed of 125 MPH was recorded on our test run.

These figures may not sound inspiring, but refinement on this vehicle is unmatched by many. Clearly, Volvo has come a long way since their previous generation vehicles, at least in terms of refinement and comfort. Safety and innovation is Volvo's strong point and we wait eagerly for the European car makers, to come up with new options. Stay tuned for more, as we come back soon with latest updates.
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