For the past few years, this formerly Swedish manufacturer (now a member of the Chinese Geely Holding Group) has been keeping such a low a profile that many wondered about Volvo’s future. In fact, Volvo seems to have done a lot of soul-searching this last decade: it built its reputation on safety, and now practically all automakers are tapping this market too.
But lo and behold, Volvo seems to be back on track and Geely’s colossal investments seem to be bearing fruit. The latest examples were recently introduced to the press at an event held on the fringes of the Montréal Auto Show. We got a sneak peek of the 2016 Volvo XC90 and V60 Cross Country, the first two major new products introduced by the manufacturer in a long time. Volvo is touting this as the beginning of a complete transformation that will bring a whole host of new models.
The 2016 XC90
As soon as you see the XC90, the brand’s unofficial standard-bearer, you have to admit that they did a smashing job. We were quite taken with its fluid, high-end style. It is strongly reminiscent of various concepts presented in the past, most notably the XC Coupe, named the best concept vehicle in Detroit last year. The vehicle is a lot more contoured than some Volvos of the past, but it’s still more angular than some of the competition’s models.
The XC90 is the first to use Volvo’s SPA scalable platform, a new global architecture that emphasizes lightness and energy efficiency. The engineers claim that this platform not only helps reduce weight, but it also improves mass centralization.
The vehicle’s interior is entirely transformed with top-notch materials. Attention to detail has always been Volvo’s strong suite, and this hasn’t changed. The factory-standard equipment is abundant. Unlike the German manufacturers, you won’t necessarily be forced to dive into the overflowing and pricy options catalogue.
Mechanically speaking, the T6 AWD version has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged engine that develops 320 horsepower and 295 lbs.-ft. of torque while the XC90 T8 PHEV AWD hybrid features a pair of powerplants including a 2.0-litre supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine coupled with an 80 horsepower electric motor, bringing the total to 400 horsepower and 472 lbs.-ft of torque.
The T6 base version’s price will be $60,700 while that of the T8 PHEV AWD will be $73,400. The T6 should be available beginning this spring, while the T8 hybrid is expect in the fall.
The 2016 V60 Cross Country
The manufacturer also took the opportunity to introduce the new generation of its V60 Cross Country. Part-SUV, part-wagon, the V60 is surprisingly practical and thrilling. We like its sturdy profile while its plunging-back roofline makes it more dynamic. The excellent new rim design adds a lot of punch.
Only the T5 AWD is offered in Canada. It comes with a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 266 lbs.-ft. of torque, and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to this engine, the 0-100 km/hr time is 7.4 seconds while fuel consumption is estimated at about 10.6 L//100 km.