Making its debut in mid-2005, the XC90 V8 became the most powerful model in Volvo’s history. The transversely mounted, compact V8 was tailor-made for the XC90 using a 60-degree “V” configuration. It displaces 4.4-liters and features state-of-the-art technology with 32-valves and continuously variable intake and exhaust valve timing (CVVT). The naturally aspirated V8 develops 311 horsepower at 5,850 rpm and 325 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm. In addition to providing premium SUV buyers with the power of a V8, the engine is also the first V8 to meet the stringent ULEV II emissions standards.
In the USA, about 30 percent of all SUVs sold in the premium segment have V8 engines. This means that five- and six-cylinder versions of the Volvo XC90 have thus far only exploited 70 percent of the market potential - yet still achieved a resounding success. The 30 percent gap has now been covered. “Our V8 package feels immensely solid. When it comes to power and performance, we’re in the same class as the very best in the segment. What’s more, we’re sure that a large proportion of these customers will appreciate the fact that the power and driveability can be combined with high safety and good environmental properties. It’s important that we can launch a V8 without compromising on our core values,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Hans-Olov Olsson.
The XC90 V8 is fitted with equally new, standard six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction™. The latter employs improved, computer-controlled Haldex AWD that instantaneously delivers up to 50 percent more torque to the rear axle only when needed, such as during takeoff. Instant Traction adds a one-way pre-charging valve to the AWD system that maintains a torque load of 59 foot-pounds, which is available instantly. Prior to Instant Traction, if the AWD system sensed that the front wheels were losing traction, one-seventh of a wheel rotation occurred before it began redirecting torque to the wheels with traction. That rotation could influence performance under certain conditions.
Also setting the XC90 V8 apart are V8 badges on the grille and tailgate, color-coordinated body-side moldings and mirrors, a graphite-gray grille, chrome-plated trim around the bumper air intake and twin exhaust pipes. A standard tire pressure monitoring system has been added for 2006.
The flagship XC90 V8’s interior is equipped with a lengthy list of luxury features. Among them are standard leather seating surfaces for all three rows, power moonroof, auto-dimming mirror, aluminum inlays and gearshift knob, third-row climate control, 6-CD in-dash changer and rear seat audio controls.
The XC90 2.5T receives several important changes for 2006. All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction™ becomes a new option. This is the same advanced AWD system employed in the V8. Two new hues include Lunar Gold and Willow Green. A new Convenience Package includes rear park assist, power retractable mirrors, power child door locks and a cargo security cover and protection net. The XC90 2.5T continues to be offered in a base front-wheel drive model.
Adhering to Volvo’s core value of safety, all XC90 models are equipped with Roll Stability Control (RSC), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Side impact Protection System (SIPS) with side airbags and Inflatable Curtains for all three rows.
Most of the attraction behind the new Volvo XC90 V8 lies in the powertrain, that is to say the engine in combination with a compact new six-speed automatic transmission and the world’s first system for All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction™, which gives enhanced grip on poor surfaces. Thanks to intelligent engineering, the engine is the most compact on the market - making it possible to install the new engine transversely within the existing crumple zones. From the environmental viewpoint, this is the first launch of a petrol V8 that meets the American ULEV II vehicle emissions standard.