The XC90 SUV has been Volvo’s biggest seller for the better half of the last decade.
However, after remaining largely unchanged for 14 years, the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker has finally announced a new XC90 with a truly opulent interior, set to launch this year.
The interior is part of Volvo’s latest effort to transform its image from the maker of safe, bland, family cars to a full-fledged member of the luxury car fraternity.
And based on the overwhelmingly positive public reaction to the proposed interior, the company’s efforts may finally be working.
The centrepiece of Volvo’s new interior is a 9-inch touchscreen display, reminiscent of the screen in Tesla’s Model S, that will run Apple’s CarPlay user interface. The iPad-sized touchscreen dominates the XC90’s clean and largely button-free center console; marking a stark departure from its predecessor’s switchgear-laden dash.
While the overall design of the interior may draw much of the public’s attention, it’s the subtle upgrades in quality and materials that will catch the eye of more discerning customers. Volvo hopes the inclusion of fine Nappa leather, rich wood trim, diamond-cut switchgear, and a crystal shift-lever made by Swedish glass makers Orrefors will help it reclaim some the premium buyers it lost to German and British rivals.
Like its predecessor, the new XC90 will accommodate the needs of family buyers with ample seating for seven, and the SUV’s premium Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system will likely keep most riders entertained.
The new XC90 will be the first model to ride on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which, according to Volvo, will improve the vehicle’s drivability and crash worthiness. While engine options for the new generation has not be announced, it is likely to feature different and smaller powertrain options than the previous version’s five, six, and eight-cylinder engines.
According to the Telegraph,Volvo previously announced that models riding its SPA platforms will have gas or diesel engines with no more than four cylinders, though the addition of hybrid technology to boost power figures is a possibility.
Volvo has not yet revealed the new XC90’s exterior design and pricing, but current generation 2014 models start at $US39,700.
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