If you unintentionally cross a lane-marking on a highway, the steering wheel vibrates to alert you. If you continue to drift, a technology steers your car back into its lane. It’s called Lane Keeping Aid.
If a vehicle from behind approaches rapidly on either side of your car, you get a warning via a light on the wing mirrors. The technology is called BLIS (Blind Spot Information System).
If you’re approaching a vehicle at a speed that suggests a collision is likely, or if a pedestrian or a large animal jumps in front of your car, a technology automatically provides the ideal level of braking. If you fail to react, the vehicle brakes itself. The City Safety is in play.
The Driver Alert Control monitors driving behaviour, and if it detects signs of drowsiness, it alerts you with visual and audible warnings. It’s time to have a cup of coffee.
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These are among the dozens of high-tech features we experienced while briefly driving Volvo V90 Cross Country at the Volvo Cars Demo Center track near Gothenburg, Sweden, recently. The company will launch this wagon-cum-SUV in India some time around the festive season.
What’s across country?
The S90 is Volvo’s flagship sedan. On the same platform, the company first developed an estate car called the V90. Later, it took the V90, raised its ground clearance, gave it a different chassis set-up and new tyres, and thus was born the V90 Cross Country.
Is it quite like an SUV?
No. Its seating is similar to that of the S90 sedan and hence the rear-seat comfort is better than SUVs. Even entry and exit into the V90 Cross Country is easier than in SUVs. Volvo says the vehicle is ideal for India because a lot of owners sit at the rear, but need good ground clearance so as not to hit the underbelly and also need good boot space. This car provides it all. And because it is all-wheel drive (AWD), it should drive like SUVs.
Which engine will it come with?
It’s the 1969cc diesel engine that also powers the S90, but the V90 Cross Country comes in the D5 trim, which produces more power (235bhp, compared to 190bhp of the S90). It also produces more torque—480Nm, compared to 400Nm of the S90. It has the eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission.
At over two tonnes, the V90 Cross Country is a heavy car, yet it’s quick. It goes from 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 240kph. The claimed fuel-efficiency, for European driving conditions, is about 20kpl.
What all features will it get?
Adaptive cruise control, parking assist, lane assist, BLIS, City Safety, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, knee airbag driver-side, side-impact protection, whiplash injury protection system … the feature list is long. In fact, Volvo India was the first to introduce radar-based communications in the XC90 Excellence and the recently-launched S60 Polestar. The V90 Cross Country will also be equipped with radar and hence all the futuristic technologies.
Will it be the costliest Volvo car?
No. Volvo’s flagship vehicle in India is the XC90 Excellence plug-in hybrid SUV, which is priced Rs 1.27 crore, ex-showroom, Delhi (inclusive of two fast-charging units and installation). Given how the company has competitively priced its other vehicles, the V90 Cross Country could be launched in the range of Rs 60-70 lakh.
Do estate cars make sense?
Estate cars haven’t worked in the Indian market, be it in any segment. More so luxury car players, who have stayed away from this segment—the only luxury estate car in India is the Audi RS6 Avant. However, Volvo says that the V90 Cross Country is akin to an SUV in an estate body type. In fact, Volvo invented this segment 20 years ago globally and will be the first in India to come up with this segment.