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Volvo finally reveals V90

Generating interest: Volvo's V90 and S90 range is 2.0-litres across the board, but some innovative forced induction has produced five very different results.

V90 wagon completes Volvo 90 Series trio alongside S90 and XC90


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19 Feb 2016

VOLVO has accompanied the reveal of its all-new V90 large luxury wagon with full details of the five Drive-E powertrains that will propel both the load-lugger and its S90 sedan sibling.

While the 90 Series pair share much of the technology of their high-riding XC90 sibling, including the D5, T6 and T8 engines sold here, in Europe the V90 and S90 will have a further T5 and D4 option.

The S90 is expected in Australia about August this year and timing for the V90 is yet to be confirmed, but exact specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the local debut.

As expected, the V90 closely resembles its S90 sedan stablemate with the addition of a more practical and volume-boosted boot, which can swallow up to 1526 litres of luggage, while interior kit and costume appears identical to the sedan.

As per Volvo's pledge to use four-cylinder power across its entire range of passenger cars and SUVs, the V90 and S90 engines are 2.0-litres and four cylinders in all five variants.

The T5 engine kicks off the range with the most conventional and uncomplicated combination of single turbocharger and direct injection to produce 187kW and 350Nm from 1500 rpm. That's enough to accelerate the V90 T5 to from zero to 100km/h in 7.0 seconds.

The T6 adds a supercharger to the mix boosting power to 235kw, while torque gets a kick up to 400Nm. Zero to 100km/h acceleration time falls to 6.1 seconds and its maximum speed in increased from 230km/h to 250km/h.

According to Volvo, the supercharger and turbo work in unison below 3500 rpm for faster torque response, but higher engine speeds are turbo-territory only.

It is a similar story with the two diesel offerings, which each D4 and D5 having a pair of asymmetrical turbochargers plumbed in series.

In both cases, a smaller turbo with lower inertia spools faster than a larger second-stage unit to deal with lower engine speeds. At faster rpm, the higher flow turbo reaches its boost threshold, blowing through the primary turbo for maximum boost.

The net result is increased drivability and power without increased fuel consumption, according to the Swedish car-maker.

The same recipe is applied to the diesel flagship D5 engine, but its smaller turbo has a variable nozzle turbine (VNT) to increase exhaust gas velocity and responsiveness at low engine speeds.

Further reducing turbo lag is Volvo's PowerPulse system, which injects a shot of compressed air into the exhaust turbine to accelerate the impeller beyond its boost threshold before the exhaust gasses.

The air supply is drawn from the engine air filter housing and compressed into a 2.0-litre receiver which is automatically topped-up for use under sudden throttle opening.

With its more conventional turbos the D4 unit pumps out 140kW and 400Nm between 1750 rpm and 2500 rpm, while the extra boost pressure and responsiveness from the D5 four-pot increases power to 173kW and its 480Nm drops off sooner at 2250 rpm.

Fuel consumption is rated at 4.5 litres per 100km for the D4 or 4.9L/100km for the D5, while the benchmark 0-100km/h dash is dispensed with in 8.5s and 7.2s respectively.

Sitting at the top of the powertrain pack is Volvo's so-called Twin Engine T8 plug-in hybrid option, which combines the same petrol engine of the T6 with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor on the rear axle for all-paw grip and 0-100km/h acceleration of 5.2 seconds.

Despite its potent performance, Volvo says the T8 can still return fuel consumption of just 2.1L/100km.

Power for the motor is stored in a centrally-mounted 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery which is either charged by mains power or by “crank-integrated starter generator” which can also add torque to the petrol engine.

In all but the T8 flagship, the V90 and S90 are available as front-wheel drive and AWD with torque sent via a choice of eight-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox, although Volvo Australia is unlikely to offer a manual variant.

With its dual-motor transmission, the T8 is exclusively all-paw.

As is synonymous with the Swedish brand, the Volvo V90 and S90 range is equipped with a comprehensive selection of IntelliSafe passive and active safety technology.

Pilot Assist II takes the increasingly commonplace adaptive cruise control and adds semi-autonomous ability to keep the vehicle in lane at speeds of up to 130km/h, as well as maintaining a distance from a leading car down to stop and start traffic speeds.

The same hardware allows the City Safety system to help drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and even large animals, including kangaroos after a period developing the technology on Australian dirt.

Lane-keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, ABS, ESC, road sign recognition and speed limiter complete the set of active safety gear, while a full complement of airbags, Run-off Road Mitigation and a safety cell made from one-third hot-formed steel looks after occupants if a crash can not be avoided.

While wagon sales continue to suffer in the growing shadow of SUVs, Volvo Australia managing director Kevin McCann said the company had an advantage with its V90.

“We have a very strong position in the estate segment,” he said. “In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive estate brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than estates, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90.”

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