Press Releases

Volvo XC90 With V8 Powertrain – Building Further On Success


  • V8 powertrain extends market potential
  • The volume aim is 15,000 Volvo XC90 V8s a year
  • 75 percent of production to North America

A Volvo XC90 with V8 power under the hood not only puts added performance on the road – it also sharpens Volvo’s competitive edge in the tough SUV segment.


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 of North America President and CEO Vic Doolan.


Powertrain with compact V8 and technological breakthrough

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 all surfaces.


Thanks to intelligent engineering, the engine is the most compact on the market – making it possible to install the new engine transversely, allowing placement within existing crumple zones – integral to Volvo safety.


From the environmental viewpoint, this is the first V8 in the world to meet both ULEV II in the United States.


Spotlight on driving characteristics and performance

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.


In the world of V8 development, engine sound is a science in its own right. A traditional V8 has a throaty offbeat growl in the U.S., while Europeans favor 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 Vic Doolan.


Three-quarters to North America

Volvo Cars plans to sell 15,000 Volvo XC90 V8s a year, with 75 percent of total production going to North America. The USA is without comparison the largest V8 market, followed by Canada and Mexico. Germany takes fourth place and Japan comes in fifth.


Sales will start in the USA in early 2005, after which the Volvo XC90 V8 will be introduced gradually on other markets.


Award-winning sales success

The Volvo XC90 has been an enormous sales success for Volvo Cars. The original production volume of 50,000 cars 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. In addition, 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 Vic Doolan.

XC90 (2002-2014), Safety, Auto Shows, Technology, 2005
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