Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2016 Volvo XC90Brian Cooley drives the 2016 Volvo XC90 and tells you why it could be the beginning of the carmaker's future.
[MUSIC] This is the new XC 90. And it's a very big story for them. Now I can recall not too long ago, well yeah it was long ago. When Volvo was the number one selling European luxury car in the US. You didn't talk about Mercedes and BMW and Audi that much in those days. Of course, times have change. In the first third of this year luxury car sales in the US have gone up about 5% and Volvo sales about 0%. That's what they aim to fix with these guys. And these XC 90s come in two basic flavors, a T6 and a T8. The six and the eight share the same combustion power train, but then the eight adds plug-in hybrid electric motivation on top of that. They're both three-row, seven-seat vehicles, and as you can see, they've got a new but identifiable Volvo look. This is their first big project. Since the acquisition by Chinese money five years ago. So, a lot of eyes are watching. Both T6 and T8 XC90s have the same unusual engine. A small 2 Liter 4 cylinder. But it gets bulked way up by not a turbo or super charger but both. The supercharger kicks in first, then the turbo takes over at higher RPM. At which point the supercharger disengages to reduce drag. Then the T8 steps it up with more tech. Because we've added the motor in the back, the battery in the middle, The middle and all of our transfer and control circuitry. 400 horsepower now,472 pound feet of torque. Zero to 60 comes down to around six seconds to 5.3 even though the weight goes up about 400 pounds. Efficiency is expected to be around 59 MPGE, which is typically how you start to look at these cars that can spend a fair amount of time running electric. But we don't have it fully certified EPA yet. In front of you is an LCD instrument panel that's becoming almost required in luxury vehicles. Over here to the right's the one that your eye's been tending toward, right. There's a tablet style interface. And it's more than just tablet in it's size and orientation. It's also table in it's muscle memory. You got a home button at the bottom. You drag down here to get your settings. You go left and right to go to specialty screen. On your left are all you vehicle and car functions. Go back down to home. Go another one to right, and there's all your info-tainment functions. It's a whole lot of settings for your different driver assist controls, including parking, including collision avoidance, lane-keeping aids, reading road signs to get that up on the head up display and things of that nature. Let's talk about the driver assist now since that's what's controlled there The one that's getting a lot of attention handles your injuries or hopefully prevents them if you go off the road. But it doesn't prevent you from doing that. That's already existing in lane keep and lane departure management. This is one that handles spinal injuries if you go into those ruts on the side of the road at high speed. So It's going to give you more of a crush zone underneath the seat. It also cinches up the belt. They say it's all about spinal compression protection. There's automatic breaking during left turns and intersections. So if you're about to turn into someone and get yourself t-boned, the car won't let you, it's gonna cram on the breaks. This is all camera and radar based. The same camera and radar are looking out front for pedestrians and cyclists, both day and night, and with automatic braking. There's a rear end protection system here. It's the worst feeling in the world as you're sitting there, a sitting duck and you see someone's about to plow into you. And if that's the case, it's gonna lock it's own brakes to prevent its movement as a projectile, and it's also gonna cinch up your belt to prevent your movement as a projectile. Pilot assist is similar to what a lot of car makers are bringing out. Which is the first step of autonomy. It'll handle adaptive cruise. So slow speed stop and go. And keep you in your lane. And the drive control in the XC90 begin in a very Swedish manner with an auto force crystal drive control handle, which gets you into your P R N D and B, high regeneration mode, because we're in the electrified C8. Here is your start stop, you rotate this thing, and behind there is this nice little neural drum which you turn and click To get to your different drive modes. Now all wheel drive, is where you force it to go into AWD. Using that rear electric apparatus, here's a mode that says, dont use the battery, I want it for later. Hybrid is, kind of, as you can imagine A mix of both for general use. Power is your sporty self-explanatory mode. Here's a rough road mode. Again, adaptive suspension, all-wheel drive. This vehicle can stretch itself various ways. And you can set up and cook your own mix under Individual. So not only is that third row pretty incredible, I mean, I've seen much smaller. Here's a sign of our times. The middle seat in the second row Can be moved forward and back. Forward so the little one back here doesn't get separation anxiety. I wonder which country's market researchers told them they needed this. Now I'm in the T8 right now. Some numbers on it's electrification. It's got about 17 miles of pure EV range. What's interesting is that it can run electrically, in the right conditions, up to about 80 miles an hour. So it can be a full freeway electric car. And you charge time if you've got a 240 volt high amp circuit, which you're going to want for a plug in car. It's about two and a half hours and of course it regens as you go. I love these drive modes. I find that the pure ecodrive is what you'd expect. It's quite muted. As you can imagine, this power mode, this sporty mode, is what gives you your best engagement. Really feels the best, but it won't be the most efficient. I'm hearing a lot of sort of electric power [INAUDIBLE], Sound which sometimes can be oddly confusing. Whining sounds. But, I need to wait until we get a final US spec reduction XC90 in our hands to really judge this power train one thing that i can tell you now, you'll hardly believe that theres a small four cylinder at the heart of this rig. Really comfortable ride, has done a great job dialing in the quality of the ride and it doesn't matter what of the modes i'm in. It's never harsh. It doesn't feel like it's weight, to be honest. This doesn't feel like the poundage that it reads on paper, which is always a nice trick for a car. Now what I'm liking in this T6 that I'm getting a chance to sample is the lane keeping technology that Volvo uses. It's very nuanced, it's very confident feeling. That's going to be important as we roll out semi self-driving cars soon Consumers. the vehicle feels like it's real in charge and knows what it's doing, it's going to a go a long way toward getting people to leave the sceptical range and say, "you know what, this works". Okay, let's wrap up now. Five points that make the XC90 very notable. First of all you see the whole new look it's a fresh face for Volvo and it's going to have to make a market impression And inside you got the new look and feel of the Sensus Connect technology. Under the hood, they've made a bold move to four cylinder engines. Not even big ones. They have turbos and super charging. They got the plug in technology added to the T8 variance. And finally they got some state of the art driver assist technology that in some cases, nobody else has, or at least had as aggressive. These will be important cars to watch when the T6 arrives July 15th. The T8 in October. [MUSIC] More cars good on CNET style standing by now at CNETOnCars.com. Click ON THE ROAD. [MUSIC]