3.2-litre: 238PS and 320Nm of torque
The new 3.2-litre unit, built at Bridgend in Wales, is a modern unit, mostly made of aluminium with an efficient design that is more compact than Volvo’s five-cylinder engines as its ancillary components (such as power steering pump and air conditioning compressor) are neatly positioned behind the engine in the space above the transmission.
It achieves high performance with good fuel economy thanks to its valve train with both Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and Cam Profile Switching (CPS) on the intake side. With CPS, the intake valves can be lifted to different heights depending on engine revs and load - a lower lift for economical driving and a higher one for more power, almost creating two engines in one.
Both the V8 and 3.2-litre engines are only available with Volvo’s six-speed Geartronic transmission as standard (optional for the D5) and the latest All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system with Instant Traction.
The new, more elegant exterior for the new XC90 has been achieved with a number of enhancements. These are most noticeable at the rear where there are redesigned lights which now emphasise the curves of the XC90’s shoulders, plus a wide, chrome detailing above the number plate, full-width rear scuff-plate and new bumper with more body colouring.
At the front there’s a new grille with more chrome and larger Volvo iron mark badge, plus bumpers with a greater degree of colour-coding. The new XC90 is also distinguished by new 18in alloy wheels and colour-coded side mouldings and door handles.
In addition, larger door mirrors become co-ordinated with the car’s colour and now incorporate the side indicator. There is also the added choice of a new pearl finish paint available - Shadow Blue - and two new Inscription colours, Electric Silver and White Pearl. Brushed aluminium roof rails are also available on higher trim levels.
"The changes we have made to the new Volvo XC90 can be regarded as precision tuning designed to increase the car’s appeal still further," says Hans Wikman. "Volvo wants to give the discerning XC90 customers a more luxurious, premium experience," he continued.
To achieve a higher quality feel, Volvo has introduced new materials and upholsteries, including Sovereign Hide soft leather with contrasting seam stitching and panels in perforated leather.
The centre console has been upgraded with a new display and aluminium-effect trim with a new choice of Sapele Wood also introduced, while for extra convenience when overtaking, a quick push of the indicator stalk automatically flashes the indicator three times.
Added convenience is also offered for the new XC90 by the new RTI (Road and Traffic information) satellite navigation system which now works from a hard-disk based system (instead of DVD) which more quickly calculates routes, is easier to use and provides additional information.
The standard High Performance audio system will now play CDs with music in MP3 and WMA formats and is equipped with an aux input to connect extra equipment, such as i-Pods and other MP3 players. The optional Premium Sound audio system is now one of the most advanced available and includes a digital class D amplifier from Alpine with ICE Power technology from Bang & Olufsen Powerhouse, plus Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound and loudspeakers from Dynaudio - producers of some of the world’s finest speakers.
New, ‘Active Bi-xenon’ headlights improve the driver’s view of the road ahead on dark twisty roads by moving by 15 degrees in either direction to follow the curves of the road. A microprocessor measures and analyses a number of parameters and optimises the light pattern to suit, and the system is automatically disabled when it is not needed during daylight hours.
Volvo will introduce the option of a Park Assist Camera to aid parking and give an improved view of the area behind when reversing as well as showing ‘help lines’ of the car’s planned path or track - which could also be especially useful for any customers reversing to hitch up a trailer. The wide-angled camera is designed to avoid excessive distortion and previews a large area via the car’s RTI navigation screen on the dashboard.Published 20 April 2006