For immediate release
In order to strike the delicate balance between sophisticated premium wagon and rugged sport utility vehicle, Volvo Car engineers and designers used both innovative new technologies and the evolution of existing technologies to create the new Volvo Cross Country.
The result, from a more powerful and versatile powertrain to clever accessories like a picnic table for the tailgate opening, help the newest five-door Volvo combine the appeal of the modern Volvo automobile and the SUV.
Creating an engine, transmission and power delivery system capable of all-road performance was a key to bringing the two worlds together.
Although its specifications are familiar, the new model's 2.4-litre in-line 5-cylinder engine with light pressure turbocharging represents an extensive development of the version that powered the previous Cross Country. Its improved horsepower (197 @ 6,000 rpm, up from 190 hp @ 5,100 rpm) and remarkable torque (210 lb/ft @ 1,800 - 5,000 rpm, increased from 199 lb/ft) give the engine its responsive character and excellent driveability, but are only a hint of the changes inside.
A major contribution to the improved performance comes from a 25 per cent reduction in the mass of the engine's internal components, where revised pistons, pins and counterweights generate a four kilogram weight saving. Reduced friction from a shorter piston/longer connecting rod design and other friction reductions have also contributed to reduced noise levels.
Continuously Variable Valve Timing, a new engine management system, oil sump with integrated cooler and other developments since the first Cross Country model have also contributed to the highly refined nature of this engine.
A new addition to the 2001 Cross Country is an electronically-controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with adaptive programming as standard equipment. A lower first gear for improved standing-start performance, revised ratios with improved shift quality, and reduced forward 'creep' when stopped in 'Drive' all enhance the driving characteristics. A Geartronic transmission feature for manual-style sequential shifting is also standard on the new Cross Country.
The popular All Wheel Drive (AWD) system on the Cross Country loses some weight in 2001 but picks up some important features. The simple, seamless operation of the viscous coupling system that delivers power to the rear wheels as traction conditions change remains the same but the rear axle system has been redesigned, losing more than 10 kilograms in the process. The Volvo Traction Control System (TRACS) now controls wheel spin on all four wheels and operates at speeds up to 80 km/h.
The excellent ground clearance is achieved through a number of refinements. The Volvo large car platform (the basis of the Cross Country chassis) contributes the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension design. Longer front and rear springs boost ground clearance, while revised rear links move the rear axle back about one centimetre (vs the Volvo V70) to provide more room for the taller (215/65R16) tires. Front track dimensions increase about 60 mm (to 1,611 mm) while the rear track narrows slightly to accommodate the tires.
Predictable handling in all conditions, regardless of load, was an important design criterion for the Cross Country. Enhanced ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution, improved torsional stiffness (up 65 per cent from the previous Cross Country) and careful tuning of the suspension and steering geometry have given the new car its refined road manners and excellent handling in all conditions.
Beyond the powertrain, innovative design is apparent throughout the new Cross Country, from the 40/20/40 split rear seat back with two-position locking, to the rearward-facing, fold-away third seat for children. Innovations in safety (dual-stage front air bags, Inflatable Curtain, etc.), environmental care (PremAir™ smog-eating radiator, interior air filtration, Öko-Tex standard interior materials), and convenience (adaptable centre console, fold-out grocery bag holder, driver's jacket hanger and a host of clever accessories) have helped the 2001 Volvo Cross Country to combine the appeal of modern wagon and SUV.
Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd.
MacDonald & Co.