All-New Volvo XC90 Launched in South Africa

by Stephen de Vries 2,164 views0

Visually striking SUV Volvo shows the future of Scandinavian car design

. World’s most powerful and cleanest 7-seat premium SUV

. A high-tech reinterpretation of the user interface

. World First safety and convenience features

. First car on Volvo Cars’ new Scalable Product Architecture

Since the unveiling last August at an event in Stockholm, the XC90 has been attracting a great deal of attention thanks to its stunning design, innovative powertrain program and its redefinition of the connected in-­-car control experience.

“The XC90 represents the future of Volvo Cars. It is the first step in our product renewal plan and reflects our commitment to deliver a new kind of luxury car experience. The XC90 is a result of tireless research and innovation made possible by a substantial investment. We are delighted to see that it has been so well received,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.

The new face of Volvo


Combining a distinctive and confident face, complete with the updated Volvo Iron Mark and the signature ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, the XC90’s connection to Volvo’s past and homage to the Swedish lifestyle is entirely evident in the new design language.

“We have focused on the celebration of elegance, space and wellbeing in the design of the XC90. Every detail is thought through – from the uncluttered console and large tablet-­-like touchscreen interface to the handmade crystal Orrefors gear knob in our Twin Engine version. We have focused on creating a new expression of luxury simplicity and digital craftsmanship that delivers a unique and calming experience,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design.

Strength of character

Taking the best of Volvo’s innovative safety systems and adding to that list, the XC90 comes fully equipped with the IntelliSafe package as standard, delivering two world firsts – Run-off Road Protection, and Auto Brake at Intersections.

“We look at real-life accident statistics and study real crash scenes with our Traffic Accident Research Team. We do not develop new safety systems or features to pass tests – we develop them to save lives. This is why we can confidently aim to meet our Vision 2020 goal of having no one killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. We believe we have developed the safest SUV,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.


Thanks to the efficient performance delivered by Volvo’s 4-cylinder Drive-E engine program the XC90 provides a broad range of power options.

“Our Drive-E 4-cylinder engines deliver a wide band of power for the XC90 in both petrol and diesel, front and all-wheel drive configurations. On top of that we are introducing our no compromise Twin Engine technology in the XC90 T8, which delivers 300kW, 470Nm and only 49g CO2/km. It makes the all-new Volvo XC90 the most powerful and cleanest premium SUV on the market,” said Dr. Peter Mertens.

The introduction of Twin Engine technology in the XC90, which was developed in cooperation with Siemens, sets a new benchmark in terms of efficient performance in the luxury SUV segment.

Volvo Cars has a long history of electrification – the first hybrid concept car (the ECC) was produced back in 1992. Volvo Cars also introduced the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid in the V60 sportswagon in 2011.



Volvo Cars has developed advanced and engaging ride and handling characteristics for the XC90 in Volvo’s new state-of-the-art chassis simulation lab. The results speak for themselves. The new Volvo XC90 delivers a smooth and nimble character in the city, an engaging drive on country roads and a comfortably solid presence on the highway.

“The brief I gave to the chassis team during the development work was to deliver a driving experience that you might call ‘Relaxed Confidence’. The XC90 chassis is designed to cater for individual driving styles in all road and weather conditions thanks to the Four Corner Active Air Suspension system we have developed,” said Dr. Peter Mertens.

Intuitive Touch

Featuring a complete re-imagination of traditional in-car controls, the XC90 driver interface is based on touch screen technology and an intuitively tiled menu system that takes the effort out of personalisation and interaction.

Volvo’s Sensus control system, delivers true connectivity with a range of useful cloud-based applications and services which can be operated via the touch screen, through steering wheel controls, or via the advanced on-board voice control system.

“We have created a premium SUV with thought-through safety and convenience features, true luxurious comfort, solid and adaptable drive settings and stunning Scandinavian design. The XC90 is just the start. Within the next four years we will have replaced every car in our portfolio and the XC90 will then be the oldest car in the Volvo Cars showroom,” concluded Håkan Samuelsson.

New trim level strategy


With the all-new XC90, Volvo Cars is introducing a whole new trim level system, which resembles a tree with two branches. Kinetic is the base, followed by the very competitive Momentum level.

Inscription and R-Design form the two branches on the tree. The Inscription package is designed for customers that want an elegant look and a luxurious experience, while R-Design has a sporty and dynamic aura.

The South African line-up will consist of Momentum, Inscription, and R-Design derivatives.

“In principle, we have replaced the previous top level with the Inscription and R-Design versions. Both of them feature an elevated content, carefully chosen to emphasise each of their distinctive individual personalities,” said Alain Visser.

South Africa

  • On sale from 1 August 2015
  • Initially, the all-new Volvo XC90 will launch with the T6 and D5 derivatives.
  • D4 and T5 derivatives will follow toward the end of 2015.
  • T8 due to arrive in SA during first half of 2016.

All-New Volvo XC90 Awards

Since its launch in August 2014, the Volvo XC90 has been the recipient of many high profile awards, recognising its innovative approach to design, both interior and exterior and its ground-breaking approach to in-car control systems and connectivity features with its Sensus technology.


Award Awarded By Year Country
Most Innovative HMI System Car HMI Concept & Systems 2015 Germany
Best Technological Car Mas Que Coches, TELE 5 2015 Spain
Swiss Car of the Year – Runner up Schweizer Illustrierte 2015 Switzerland
Automotive Launch of the Year AUTO LIDER 2015 Poland
Interior Design of the Year Automotive Interiors Expo 2015 Germany
Best Big SUV Auto Motor & Sport reader poll 2015 Sweden
Best Innovation, Design, Quality and Operating Comfort Plus X Award 2015 Germany
Most Innovative car of the year Automotive Innovations 2015 2015 Germany
Best car of the year Auto Swiat 2015 Poland
Big SUV of the year AUTO LIDER 2015 Poland
Car Maker of the Year TU Automotive 2015 USA
Best Luxury Midsize SUV U.S. News & World Report 2015 USA
Yankee Cup Technology Award New England Motor Press Association 2015 USA
Best SUV of the year Motor-Presse Bohemia reader poll 2015 Czech Republic
Best 4×4 Diesel Car Magazine 2015 UK
Company Car of The Year – Large SUVs Firmenauto/DEKRA 2015 Germany
Best of the Best Product Design Award Red Dot Awards 2015 Germany
Connected Car of the Year 2014 France