BY ROWAN BENN Over the last decade Volvo have slowly been changing the image of the Swedish brand from the boxy, dependable vehicles of old into genuine contenders in the prestige market, with sleek styling, wonderful interiors and an emphasis on comfort and safety. The latest model revealed is the V90 estate car, which has impressed for combining outright practicality with design. For now the car is available with diesel power only (a petrol-electric hybrid is on its way) and for 2017 Volvo will, in line with their model range, offer a more rugged Cross Country version, introducing this latest model early in 2017. With All-Wheel Drive, a ride height increased by 60mm and a chassis optimised for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions, the new Volvo V90 Cross Country gets ready for the great outdoors. It has been tested in the frozen north in temperatures as low as minus forty degrees Centigrade to the searing desert heat of Arizona where the company performs its high-temperature testing programme. The old adage that Volvo cars are built to last is as true as ever. With the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture underpinning the elegant design, the V90 Cross Country takes the elegance of the estate and transforms it into an all-road car that delivers safety, comfort and performance. The rugged character belies a sumptuous and typically Volvo interior that really delivers the same luxury, connectivity and entertainment found in the new S90 saloon and V90. This includes a high-end sound system by Bowers & Wilkins. Designed to cope with the demanding requirements of extreme climate, Cross Country models perform in all sorts of road conditions. Whatever the conditions; muddy tracks, knee-deep snow or long-distance motorway driving, the V90CC is designed to take them on as an all-weather alternative to the ubiquitous SUV. Business users operating in difficult conditions or leisure orientated horse and boat owners will equally welcome the new model thanks to its high ground clearance, pulling power and responsive four-wheel drive. The V90 Cross Country will benefit from the four-wheel drive power trains from the Volvo XC90 SUV, as well as an all-wheel drive version of the entry-level D4 engine found in the standard V90. Volvo have tuned over 200 different chassis characteristics to ensure that the Cross Country is as much at home on the road as it is on a forest track. A more powerful D5 will also be on offer from launch next year. Available only with an automatic gearbox, this version will sprint to 62mph in just 7.5 seconds while emitting 139g/km of CO². Fuel consumption is expected to be around 53.3mpg, depending upon conditions. Despite the city looks, the Volvo V90 Cross Country will, they say, be a truly capable off-road machine. As well as the raised ride height, the car comes with special Pirelli tyres for improved grip and a softer ride – another great all-rounder from Sweden.
The writer is a Marketing Director, MHH International Ltd.