For immediate release
GÖTEBORG (September 7, 2004) – Volvo Car Corporation today announced that it will introduce a Volvo XC90 equipped with a V8 engine to add performance and sharpen the Volvo SUV’s competitive edge in a tough market segment.
The United States, Canada and Mexico make up the largest markets for V8 engines in the premium SUV segment. As a result, five- and six-cylinder versions of the Volvo XC90 have thus far only exploited a portion of its market potential.
Sales will start in the U.S. in early 2005, while the powertrain will appear in Canada for the 2006 model year.
“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 drivability 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 new Volvo XC90 V8 powertrain is a combination of an efficient design, compact new six-speed automatic transmission and an All Wheel Drive system with Instant Traction, which gives enhanced grip on poor surfaces.
Thanks to clever engineering, the engine is the most compact on the market. The design makes it possible to install the new engine transversely within the existing crumple zones. It is also the first gasoline-powered V8 that meets both the American ULEV II and Europe’s forthcoming Euro 5 exhaust emissions regulations, an important environmental consideration.
The excellent safety and environmental properties add a healthy measure of extra spice to a V8 market where buyers often base their choices on emotional arguments such as driving pleasure, power and even engine sound. A traditional American V8 has a throaty growl while Europeans favour a slightly smoother, sportier rumble.
“Our V8 has what it takes to attract American buyers. That classical V8 throb is there, but it’s overlaid with a more sophisticated touch that clearly announces that this is a European premium SUV,” explains Olsson.
The company plans to sell 15,000 Volvo XC90 V8s a year, with 75 per cent of total production going to North America.
The U.S. is the largest V8 market, followed by Canada and Mexico. Germany takes fourth place and Japan comes in fifth.
The Volvo XC90 has been an enormous sales success for Volvo Cars. The original production volume of 50,000 units a year has been successively increased, and since spring 2004, annual XC90 production in the company’s Torslanda factory in Sweden has been raised to 90,000.
The Volvo XC90 has received more international awards in a shorter period of time than any other Volvo.
“When we introduced the Volvo XC90, we claimed that we were the first manufacturer with the next-generation SUV. Now we know that our customers share that view. The combination of a compact SUV with up to seven seats, a high level of safety, the driving properties of a passenger car, and competitive environmental properties, has helped make the Volvo XC90 one of the automotive world’s most highly acclaimed models,” says Olsson.
Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 44 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sports sedan, the exotic C70 convertible and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2005, the company is introducing the completely redesigned S40 sports sedan and V50 sportswagon, providing performance for a new generation.
Media website: www.volvocars-pr.ca
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