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Volvo Cars reveals new V90 wagon; PHEV model with ~31-mile electric range

Volvo unveiled its new Volvo V90 wagon in Stockholm, Sweden. The V90 is the latest in the premium car maker’s top-of-the-line 90 series sitting alongside the award winning XC90 SUV (earlier post) and the recently-launched S90 premium sedan.

The 90 series vehicles are built on the company’s specially-designed and fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). (Earlier post.) The V90, like the XC90 and the S90, offers the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, delivering up to around 410 hp.


The Twin Engine technology supports three modes of operation:

  • Pure, in which the car runs on electric power alone.

  • Hybrid, in which an optimal combination of the engine and electric machine propels the cars in a balanced and sustainable way.

  • Power, in which all available power is used to deliver maximum performance.

T8 Twin Engine AWD powertrain.

The 34 kW, 150 N·m water-cooled Crank-Integrated Starter Generator (C-ISG) starts the engine, charges the battery and can also support the combustion engine with electric boost power.

The electric rear axle drive propels the vehicle in electric mode and provides electric boost torque and power during acceleration, as well as performing brake energy recuperation. The rear drive utilizes a 65 kW peak, 240 N·m peak electric machine with a water-cooled stator.

The 96-cell, 9.2 kWh (nominal) battery pack is built with Lithium Manganese Oxide – Nickel Manganese Cobalt/Graphite Li-ion cells.

The Volvo S90 and V90 eight-speed planetary automatic transmission is a key part of Volvo’s Drive-E powertrain technology. Two of the gears are overdrives, saving fuel when cruising at constant speeds.

The Lock-up (LU) system comprises the latest NVH damping technology (pendulum damper for diesels and super long travel damper for the gasoline engine). This enables frequent use of LU and allows the engine to run on low revs for best fuel economy.

In the T8 Twin Engine variant, paddles shifters enable downshifting. This variant has a unique engine-braking mode. The maximum torque level is also increased to enable better use of the C-ISG for performance boosting purposes.

The new V90 delivers Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology with large animal detection and run-off road mitigation, and leading connectivity including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay.

Volvo Cars has also worked on driving dynamics in the new model, seeking to deliver a new and refined driving experience characterized by a sense of engaging control and predictability.

We have a very strong offer in the V90. Our PowerPulse technology is designed to deliver a distinct performance boost to our diesel engine, while the T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid will deliver around 410 hp and a pure electric range of around 50 km.

—Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars

Volvo’s PowerPulse system, launched in the 90 series, is designed to eliminate turbo lag on its diesels. The system adds an electric compressor and pressurized 2L air tank to the powertrain. PowerPulse takes fresh air via the air filter, compresses it and stores it in the tank. When the driver accelerates rapidly, a valve opens and the compressed air is released into the exhaust manifold, feeding the turbo and creating an instant spool-up. The air in the tank is topped up automatically.

Volvo Cars is the only car maker currently using such technology in production cars.

Separately, Volvo Cars reported that it trebled its operating profit for 2015 to SEK 6.620 billion (US$780 million) compared to SEK 2.128 billion (US$250 million) for the same period in 2014. The company also reported an all-time sales record of 503,127 cars in 2015, the first time it has sold more than half a million cars in its 89-year history, boosted by the introduction of its new 90 series cars and strong sales of existing models.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive said that the carmaker expects to make record sales in 2016 for the third consecutive year. Samuelsson also forecast that operating profits would also improve in 2016 driven by growth in all of Volvo’s three main sales regions of China, Europe and the US.

Volvo Cars was part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.


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