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Volvo Car South Africa has unveiled a refreshed version of its best-selling XC90. This visually striking, premium quality SUV boasts world-leading safety features, efficient yet frugal powertrains and a superlative interior finish.

The latest XC90 follows in the esteemed footsteps of the all-new XC90, which was launched globally in 2015. At the time, it was the first of Volvo’s cars to feature the company’s new more prominent iron mark, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille.  Together with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” DRL lights, the iron mark introduced an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of vehicles.

The same styling is carried through in the 2020 XC90. However, the latest SUV also boasts new wheels, new exterior colours and a modern new grille. Significantly, it also comes in a brand new six-seat configuration.

“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on well-being,” says Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa.

Luxurious interior

When the all-new XC90 debuted in 2015, it had the most luxurious interior ever designed for a Volvo. Precisely the same applies to the very latest model.

The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of the in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an innovative way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern and spacious.

“The interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Maruszewski.

The interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, on the T8 Inscription and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. The superlative and award-winning interior design now includes two USB ports as standard as well as a telematics unit with a P-Sim card slot.

As well as ample space for passengers, there is a flexible load compartment with up to 1 856 litres of space.

The 2020 XC90 can be ordered with a range of different seating configurations. From the seven-seat family SUV, to the brand new six-seat configuration, the XC90 has been created to best fits people’s preferences and lifestyles. New interior materials including a slate grey upholstery and new décor inlays offer further options for personalisation.

Superlative sound system

The XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after Volvo Cars audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1 476-Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. The subwoofer – a Fresh Air™ design – is integrated in the car, which means that the volume of the passenger compartment is used as a resonance chamber. The subwoofer is located in the right rear wheel well and the air for the speaker element is taken from the wheel well. In practice the passengers are sitting inside a speaker enclosure. Using this design, a speaker does not need to take up so much space within the car.

According to Maruszewski, this sound system is right up there with the best in the world. “This audio system goes beyond figures – our sound engineers have searched obsessively for audiophile perfection. Using a radically new approach, they developed a unique room transformation technology together with the Swedish audio software specialists Dirac Research. This technology makes it possible to recreate the acoustics of a specific room inside the car,” he reveals.

There are three room modes: “Studio” for an excellent, dry and precise listening experience, “Individual Stage” that allows you to control the acoustics and create your own sound using the centre display, and “Gothenburg Concert Hall” which recreates the amazing acoustic experience of this legendary concert hall. “The result speaks directly to any music lover’s soul – wherever you’re seated in your XC90. The whole experience exudes quality and craftsmanship – most of the tweeter and mid-range speaker panels are in stainless steel, and the yellow speaker cones are elegantly visible through the mesh,” Maruszewski adds.

Impeccable safety credentials

The XC90 has been at the forefront of SUV safety ever since the first-generation model was launched in 2002. It was the first SUV in the world to be fitted with Roll Stability Control, which measures the car’s roll angle in extreme manoeuvres and activates the stability control system to reduce the risk of a rollover accident. 

The second-generation XC90, launched in 2015, came with two world-first safety aids: Run-off Road Protection and automatic emergency braking at junctions. Should the car inadvertently leave the road, Run-off Road Protection automatically tightens the front seatbelts to keep occupants in the safest possible position. To help prevent spinal injuries, a collapsible energy-absorbing section between the front seats and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can occur if the car lands on a hard surface. The XC90 was also the first car in the world to feature automatic emergency braking that activates if the driver turns into the path of an oncoming vehicle at a junction. 

Volvo’s pioneering safety technology goes beyond protecting those inside the car, however. The XC60 mid-size premium SUV was the first car to come with automatic emergency braking as standard when it was launched in 2008, while every new Volvo model has been fitted with this life-saving technology since 2014.

The 2020 XC90 comes with an arsenal of safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control, Distance Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Run-Off Road Mitigation/Protection, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Light, Brakes with Hill Start Assist and Automatic Hold, Automatic braking after a collision, Roll-Over Protection System, Roll Stability Control, reinforced passenger compartment, SIPS™ side impact protection system, collapsible steering column, side and dual-stage airbags (for the driver and front passenger), inflatable curtain, WHIPS™ whiplash injury protection system and City Safety with Autobrake (which recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals).

Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency

The new XC90 offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder powertrains, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency. These powertrains are coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The turbocharged diesel engine equipped to the Volvo XC90 D5 Geartronic AWD delivers 173 kW at 4 000 r/min and 480 Nm of torque at 1 750 – 2 250 r/min. Fuel consumption – at 5,7 litres per 100 km (combined) – is frugal.

The XC90 T5 AWD is equipped with a 187 kW petrol engine, which features a high-pressure turbo. It delivers 350 Nm of torque at 1 500 to 4 800 r/min. Fuel consumption is a commendable 7,6 litres per 100 km (combined).

The supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine equipped to the Volvo XC90 T6 Geartronic AWD delivers 235 kW of power at 5 700 r/min and torque of 400 Nm at 2 200 – 5 400 r/min. It consumes 8,0 litres of petrol per 100 km (combined).

The range-topping Volvo XC90 T8 Geartronic AWD has a 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) petrol engine that is also supercharged and turbocharged. It works in conjunction with an electric motor, delivering power of 300 kW (235 kW + 65 kW) and torque of 640 Nm (400 Nm + 240 Nm. Fuel consumption is a remarkable 2,1 litres per 100 km (combined) while emissions are a low 49 g/km.

R-Design model up for grabs

Volvo Car South Africa is launching a new R-Design version of its award-winning XC90. R-Design models are the sportiest XC90s to date, featuring a range of design, dynamic and equipment upgrades to give Volvo’s SUV a sporty makeover.

The outside of the car is distinguished by 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a gloss black mesh front grille. Inside, there are leather/nubuck sports seats and a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel complete with gearshift paddles. R-Design XC90s also get a powered front passenger seat with memory function (to match the driver’s seat), sports pedals, black headlining and upgraded interior lighting. There’s even an exclusive R-Design leather-clad remote key fob.

R-Design models come with Drive Mode Settings and Adjustable Steering Force as standard, too, which allow you to choose between different settings for the engine, transmission, steering and the optional air suspension.

Volvo On Call is standard

The 2020 XC90 comes standard with Volvo On Call, an innovative app-based service that helps motorists to communicate with their cars.

It facilitates a multitude of tasks: with Volvo On Call, motorists can lock or unlock the doors to their car, check the fuel level and cool or heat their car – and they can do this all via their smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or desktop.

According to Maruszewski, Volvo on Call is a key to the digital world. “One app gives Volvo drivers control over their car’s functions. It also provides access to a world of convenient services,” he reveals.

Maruszewski explains that, with Volvo On Call, a car becomes far more than just a means of travel. “It becomes your personal assistant. It can tell you about the best coffee spots in town and send the destination to your car’s navigation system. It knows when you have appointments, where they are and how to get you there,” he reveals.

South African motorists will particularly appreciate the associated safety and security benefits. “Motorists who forget to lock their car will get a notification message. And Volvo On Call automatically contacts the emergency services if you are involved in an accident and tells them where you are,” Maruszewski explains.

Other remarkable capabilities of Volvo On Call include the ability to provide an in-car WiFi hotspot, which can be accessed by everyone in your car. “The signal is so strong that you can even stream music and films without having to worry about buffering,” says Maruszewski. An added benefit is the fact that the batteries of portable devices are not drained, leaving them ready for use when they are needed.

Anyone who has ever lost track of their car in a huge parking lot will also welcome Volvo On Call with open arms. “The app will show you the location of your car on a high-definition map, and then provide directions how to reach it. You can even ask your car to hoot and flash for five seconds to identify itself and guide you to its location,” says Maruszewski.

Volvo On Call is entirely free of charge for five years. Thereafter, it can be extended for a fee.

The model year 2020 version of the XC90 will be available on dealer showroom floors from mid-August 2019. Maruszewski says that there is already considerable customer interest in the new model. “The XC90 has already won over 120 awards globally, including the 2016 SA Car of the Year. In its latest incarnation, it’s most definitely the finest SUV that Volvo has ever created. You get the generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and handling of a much smaller and lower car. The adrenaline rush that is key to true driving pleasure is delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation. And since the XC90 carries the Volvo badge, world-class safety is standard. It’s an unbeatable combination,” he concludes.

Suggested retail price list

All Volvos standard with:

  • 5 year / 100 000km Warranty and Maintenance Plan (Volvo Plan).
  • 5 year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance.
  • DataDot application.