It seems to be the thing to do now by car manufacturers – the slow reveal. Building anticipation for the whole view of a new car so that when it all comes together the excitement is so fever pitch that everyone in the world rushes out to buy (or lease) the car and they make loads of money.
Nissan did it after a fashion with the latest Qashqai, Volkswagen is doing it with the new Passat and even Bentley are dipping their toes into the reveal waters with their SUV.
And then there is the new Volvo XC90 with its launch programme starting right now from the inside out right up to the full external reveal in August.
Back in 2002, Volvo launched the original XC90 and courtesy of its revolutionary combination of space, versatility and safety in the SUV sector, it went on to become a global sales phenomenon. And Volvo hopes that the new version of the XC90 will be just as revolutionary.
So, to the interior as a starter – and, for this article, the finisher too; with more details to come.
According to Volvo, the interior of the XC90 is “the most luxurious to have been designed for a Volvo” and they also claim that the inspiration for the interior of the car is Volvo’s country of birth, Sweden, with its “global reputation for integrating the latest technology with design that is clean, beautiful and crafted from the finest materials.”
Examples of the Swedish side come with the use of materials such as soft leather and wood along with touches such as handcrafted details that include a gear-lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glass maker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control.
“These details are designed to become the jewels of the interior. They add a bit of exclusive playfulness rather than pure functionality,” said Robin Page, Volvo Cars’s Interior Design Director.
For anyone who has driven in a Volvo car, the comfort in the seats has always been right up there on any “Best in Class” list – and the new XC90 is no different by a great use of space that makes the car a genuine 7-seater.
“Just like classic Scandinavian chairs, our new seats prove that seats don’t need a lot of thick padding to be comfortable. The full seat core has an ergonomic shape that resembles the human spine. A multitude of adjustment possibilities makes it possible for the individual user to create an ideal seating position,” says Robin Page.
Driver seats come complete with adjustable side bolsters, seat cushion extension, multi-directional lumbar support and vertical adjustment of the headrests, and desired settings can be stored in the seats’ memory with ventilation and massage functions optional.
And passenger seats are just as comfortable with the second row featuring three individual seats with recline adjustment, and the third row allowing feet room under the second row after easier access than would normally be available for the last two seats in a 7-seater.
All seven seats have three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners with all seat rows also covered by the improved Inflatable Curtain airbags in a side impact or rollover situation. The all-new Volvo XC90 is also there for the storage and loading requirements with a larger number of storage options for the driver and all the flexibility of folded down second and third rows.
But according to Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Cars: “The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system,” This means that the control system is virtually button free and is surely a sign, not only of the times, but also of the future as an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services.
This also helps the all-new XC90 to stay as simple as possible, allowing the fact that it is the first Volvo to use Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) - improving driveability, increasing interior space, and allowing the inclusion of the latest safety features and connected in-car technologies – to keep an element of calm inside at all times.
“Our new interior architecture is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect,” said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Cars.
Quite what those latest safety features and connected in-car technologies are will be revealed in late July/early August, while mid-July will see the reveal of the chassis and powertrains details, prior to the exterior launch at the end of August.
“The customer and the customer experience are at the heart of everything we do at Volvo Cars. We don’t do technology for technology’s sake – everything in a Volvo is there to make our cars safer and more pleasurable to drive,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo Cars.