Volvo XC90 V8 – power and pleasure also in extreme winter conditions


       The new V8 model reinforces the Volvo XC90’s position as one of the most successful SUV models in the premium segment – and the new XC90 V8 is comfortable in all driving conditions, no matter if we are talking about hot deserts or the extreme winter above the Polar Circle. The entirely new power train combines power and pleasure with a stable and predictable behavior also in the toughest conditions

      The new V8 engine marks a new turning-point in Volvo Cars’ history. It is the first V8 the company has produced since it was founded in 1927, and the Volvo XC90 is the first model to be powered by the new engine.

       “An SUV in the premium segment needs a V8, especially on the North American market where we sell about 60 percent of all the XC90s we make,” explains Hans Wikman, Vice President, Vehicle Line Large Cars.

 V8 tailor-made for the XC90

     In order to maintain overall compactness, all the ancillary units such as the alternator are fitted directly onto the engine itself without any space-stealing brackets. The starter motor is fitted above the transmission for the same reason.  “We’ve tailored this V8 specifically for the XC90,” confirms Hans Wikman. The result is a V8 that is just 754 mm long and 635 mm wide – the most compact on the market compared to engines of equivalent volume.   As a result of these compact dimensions and the fact that both the block and cylinder head are cast in alloy, Volvo’s new V8 weighs just 190 kg – an important consideration when aiming for low fuel consumption.

First launch of gas V8 to meet ULEV II

     The new engine from Volvo is the cleanest gas V8 on the market today. It meets the American ULEV II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, stage II) – which no other petrol V8 has yet managed. The result is extremely low emissions before the catalytic converters are activated – which takes place just 15 to 20 seconds after the engine starts up. It is during these 15–20 seconds that the majority of the emissions of environmentally harmful substances take place.

Distinct V8 sound

     The Volvo XC90 V8 produces 315 horsepower and its torque – the most important characteristic of a V8 engine – is a massive 440 Nm at 3900 r/min. And at the sort of revs at which most driving takes place, around 2000 r/min, no less than 370 Nm of torque is at the driver’s disposal.  Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.3 seconds and fuel consumption is 13.3 litres/100 km (5-seater). Top speed is limited to 190 km/h in the USA.

New 6-speed automatic transmission

      The power from Volvo’s V8 engine passes through an entirely new 6-speed automatic transmission dimensioned to handle the high torque. This unit too is of particularly compact dimensions so as not to interfere with the car’s overall structure. Sixth gear is a pure overdrive ratio to ensure quiet cruising and low fuel consumption.

      The new 6-speed transmission is of Geartronic type, which means that it can also be shifted manually. There is also a possibility for Lock-up, and slipping Lock-up, on all gears.  To ensure the optimum balance between driving properties, performance and fuel consumption the engine and transmission are treated as one unit. This is achieved with new software developed by Volvo, called CVC (Complete Vehicle Control). CVC is part of the integrated software package used, both in the engine control module and the transmission control module.   Among the many benefits of this approach was the possibility of integrating an overdrive 6th gear while still maintaining good driving performance by adjusting functionality, gear and torque to suit current conditions.

AWD with Instant Traction™ – a world innovation

     The third ingredient in the new Volvo Cars V8 power train is the electronic AWD four-wheel drive system, which now features Instant Traction™. This new technology – which Volvo Cars is the first automaker in the world to introduce –improves the scope for quick getaways and provides enhanced traction on slippery surfaces. It has been developed by the Swedish company Haldex.

     A non-return valve allows us to use software to control the base torque that is programmed into the AWD system. When starting off from standstill, 80 Nm of torque is pre-charged in the system since the non-return valve prevents the unit from becoming totally drained of hydraulic fluid.

Electronically controlled clutch

     The All Wheel Drive system automatically synchronizes the front and rear wheels to create maximum traction.   The power is distributed between front and rear via an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. As soon as a front wheel tends to slip a fraction of a revolution, power is transferred to the rear wheels.

The system is intelligent.

A few examples:

     If the driver brakes, or lifts the foot off the gas pedal, or the DSTC anti-spin system decides to cut in, the All Wheel Drive system knows what to do to help keep the vehicle stable, for instance by releasing the driving on the rear wheels.

Predictable driving in all conditions

     The multi-link suspension in the rear is not just about comfort. The constant track contributes to a stable, predictable behavior - and provides stable braking also in the curves thanks to a slight toe-in when braking   The relatively long wheel-base also helps provide a stable feeling. The geometry in the front has been carefully balanced for quick, precise steering response. The ZF steering system gives light, distinct and controlled steering feedback.

TRACS for enhanced starting traction

     The electronically controlled All Wheel Drive system on the Volvo XC90 V8 works together with the traction control system, TRACS.   TRACS operates independently on the front and rear axle. It is a starting aid that works in low speeds. If one wheel starts to spin the brake cut in and slows it down to make sure that the wheel with the best traction gets the power. The aim is to get the best possible starting traction.

DSTC for enhanced driving safety

The Volvo XC90 V8 is also equipped with the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control System (DSTC).  In short this system compares the ideal behavior of the vehicle with the real situation at the moment.  By checking steering angle, lateral acceleration, wheel speeds and yaw speed DSTC can detect any deviation from the ideal situation and help to correct it immediately.

 If the car under-steers when cornering, the system reduces engine power and brakes the inner wheels to help get it back on the desired track.

 When over-steering the outer front wheel brakes to help prevent the rear from sliding sideways.
Specific V8 exterior design

     “Masculine without being macho, powerful without being aggressive.” That was how Volvo Cars’ chief designer at the time, Peter Horbury, characterized the appearance and stance of the Volvo XC90 at its launch in 2002.

     On the new XC90 V8, a V8 badge appears in the grille and on the tailgate to indicate the power under the hood. But there are also other design details that set the XC90 V8 apart.

 New 18" wheels
 Side moldings and door handles painted in the car’s body color
 Graphite-grey grille
 New chrome-plated trim around the bumper air intake
 New twin exhaust pipes

     Volvo’s design department has also taken considerable care over the appearance of the engine itself.   The V8 is the first example of a new design language for the engine compartment in Volvo’s coming models.   “We want there to be no doubt that this is a V8, and a modern and technically advanced V8 at that. We therefore chose not to hide the engine beneath large covers but instead to enhance the V-configuration and the eight inlet pipes,” says Anders Myrberg, head of engine compartment design at Volvo Cars.  On the inlet manifold, Volvo’s classic ‘iron’ symbol can be clearly seen in relief against a background of brushed alloy and complemented with an elegant V8 emblem 

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Volvo Car Corporation, Accessories - Wireless hands-free function in Volvo cars with Bluetooth® and a mobile telephone

• Automatic connection to the car’s loudspeaker system
• The system recognizes up to four different telephones
• Easy to switch between hands-free and telephone
• Voice dialing promotes traffic

It is now possible to connect a Bluetooth-capable mobile telephone to a Volvo car’s audio and loud-speaker system – totally wirelessly. With the help of the new accessory Volvo Hands-free with Bluetooth®, a mobile telephone becomes an integrated hands-free system with voice dialing.

Volvo Hands-free with Bluetooth® can be fitted in most late-model Volvo cars. The system consists of an electronic control module, a module with function buttons, a dedicated microphone located near the rear-view mirror, and the necessary wiring. The mobile telephone used must be Bluetooth-capable. Once a paired link has been set up with the car’s Bluetooth module, the telephone is recognized and connected automatically when the owner enters the car. Story

Volvo Models Best in Interior Air Quality According to New Study

      An independent survey carried out by the Ecology Center in Detroit shows that the interiors of Volvo’s cars emit lower levels of toxic substances than other car makes.

      The Ecology Center recently presented a study (Toxic at Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives) of the toxic chemicals used in building car interiors. Flame retardant PBDE and phthalates, whose main use is as a softener in plastics, were included in the study. These chemical substances can migrate from plastics and textiles, particularly at high temperatures. The car’s occupants may thus be exposed to these substances, for instance through the respiratory system. Certain types of phthalates and flame retardants can for instance promote genetic mutations and can subject car occupants to health hazards. The survey reveals that the concentrations of PBDE in dust and on the windscreen are up to five times higher than in the homes of most people, and since many people today spend a lot of time in their cars, car interiors thus have a significant effect on human health.  For More

Volvo iPod Adapter - Volvo opens up to iPod users

Now it will be possible for iPod users to plug their entire music archive into their Volvo’s audio system. Together with supplier PhatNoise Inc and Apple, Volvo Cars has developed an adapter kit for installation in the Volvo S80 from model year 1999 on and in the S60, V70 and XC70 from model year 2001.

     iPod is the world's number one digital music player and allows music lovers to carry their entire music collection with them on the go.  Now with the Volvo iPod Adapter, they can play their music in their Volvo. 

Volvo Seats Get Top Scores in 2006 Thatcham Whiplash Tests

      Once again, Volvo has achieved top scores in the latest, 2006 model year new car whiplash ratings by the UK's Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Thatcham¹ which conducted the tests on behalf of the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG).

     In fact, Volvo was one of only two manufacturers to achieve top 'Good' scores for every model tested² thanks to its supportive seats which have a fixed head restraint position to ensure they are always in the correct position to offer the best support, and the Volvo Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) that moves the entire backrest to absorb the impact during a rear-end collision to help reduce the forces on the neck.  Story

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