Car news

23 July 2014

New Volvo XC90: more details

Volvo premieres new tech on upcoming family 4x4 to make it one of the safest cars... in the world

Tom Fogden
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Next month, Volvo will reveal the all-new XC90. And it contains technology that will make it one of the safest cars on the road. Crashing, you see, deeply troubles Volvo.

Well, ‘run-off road' crashing is the type that worries the Scandinavians the most. Apparently, half of all traffic fatalities in the US are ‘road departure' accidents, caused by fatigue, driver distraction or just poor weather.

So Volvo's new XC90 will feature, as standard, run-off road protection: the XC90 detects what's happening in such an accident and tightens the safety belts while the car is in motion. There's also ‘energy-absorbing functionality' between the seat and seat frame that shelters your spine if you have to make a ‘hard landing'.

There's the more straightforward stuff like a lane keeping aid, driver alert control and even a ‘rest stop guidance', while a further standard feature automatically brakes the XC90 if you turn in front of an oncoming car. You also get a queue assist feature (automatic driving in slow-moving traffic), and road sign info displayed on the dashboard. Helpful.

There are radars that can detect rear impacts and tighten the belts accordingly, there's roll stability (engine torque pegged back, brakes applied to counteract the roll), while airbags cover all three seat rows if indeed you do manage to roll it.

The whole car is stiffer and stronger than before, too. We're told that new XC90 uses five times more hot-formed steel than the first gen car (the safety cage is made of the stuff)

We've always known Volvo to be safety-first, but they've got particularly lofty ambitions. "In the short term, the aim is that by 2020, no one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo car," says Volvo.

That's some ambition. We'll keep you posted on its development.


Tags: volvo, xc90

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