We tested the mild hybrid version B6 of Volvo’s flagship SUV XC90. The point is that the diesel version D5, which had been partially changed two years ago, was replaced by the B5 and B6. This is a 48-volt mild hybrid system that doesn’t fall short of the T8, but, as Volvo expresses it, it shows a performance that is not unusual even if it is high-performance. Of course, it is important to improve fuel efficiency and reduce exhaust gas. Write down the feeling of the test drive of the Volvo XC90 B6.
Written by / Chae Young-Seok (Director, Global Auto News)
After the launch of the XC90’s partially modified model in 2019, there have been many changes to Volvo so far. Of course, there were still difficulties, such as the market turned to a downtrend due to the sluggish Chinese market, but Volvo’s cumulative sales rose nearly 8% that year. Such a trend has not changed even in the situation of Corona 19. Volvo’s global sales in 2020 declined 6.2%, but in the first quarter of 2021 it increased 40.8% to 185,698 units, a record high.
Among them, the lineup of rechargeable models, such as battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, remained strong in March, accounting for 26.0% of all Volvo cars sold worldwide. In Europe, the share of charging cars in total sales was 39.0%.
The most important topic right now is carbon neutrality. And the primary challenge to realize it is decarbonization. Decarbonization means not using fossil energy, while carbon neutrality means reducing carbon emissions throughout life and preventing global warming. Among them, the representative players of decarbonization are battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. In addition, it is decarbonization that emissions must be reduced throughout the life cycle, from primary energy production to battery manufacturing, and to the disposal of everything related to automobiles and parts, and LCA is a recent issue to implement it. (Life cycle exhaust gas) regulation.
In terms of LCA, battery electric vehicles emit more carbon dioxide than an internal combustion locomotive at the moment, but it is an irresistible task.
To lead such decarbonization, Volvo announced in March that it will only sell battery electric vehicles from 2030. By 2025, the ratio of hybrid and battery electric vehicles will be halved, and ultimately the lineup will be made only of battery electric vehicles.
He added that Volvo’s transition to battery electric vehicles is part of a climate plan aimed at continuing to reduce the car’s lifecycle carbon footprint through concrete steps. It is planning to achieve carbon neutrality by taking comprehensive countermeasures.
In order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Volvo started with the drive e strategy that it does not make more than 2 liters of engines in the passenger car sector, and started with electrification, introduction of clean energy, reuse and disposal of plastic materials, adoption of blockchain technology, and transition to rail transportation. Is promoting. By rail transport, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 75%.
Prior to that, Volvo’s current lineup does not have a model equipped with only an internal combustion engine. There is a mild hybrid version B4/B5/B6, a plug-in hybrid version T5/T6/T8, and a battery electric vehicle recharge. In the recharge model, the C40 was recently added, starting with the XC40, and in the future, all models will be changed to recharge models in turn.
Volvo also announced a strategy to sell all battery electric vehicles online only, under the name of a subscription service called Care by Volvo. As part of a new strategy, it is to fundamentally reduce the complexity of product offerings and provide a transparent and fixed price model. In this regard, Volvo defines Volvo’s future as three pillars: electricity, online and growth. In addition, it is a policy to seamlessly and seamlessly integrate online and offline.
Exterior & Interior
New generation models, including the Volvo XC90, express their presence in their overall shape without using sharp lines or raised accents. That is the power of design. Volvo calls it the Scandinavian factor. Still, there are details such as Iron Man, intaglio radiator grill, and Thor’s hammer to complete the overall posture.
When the exterior was partially changed to the 2020 model, new wheels and new exterior colors were added, and the graphics on the grille changed slightly. The vertical bar on the inside of the grille with a slightly indented shape forms a family look with flagship sedans such as the S90. Chrome plating was added to the left and right air intakes under the bumper. Chrome lines have also been added to the lip spoiler. It is a trend that expresses luxury by expressing splendor without being excessive. Also on the side, new chrome line moldings were added to the belt line. The shape of the roof rail has also changed to be closer to the integrated vehicle body. At the back, the tailpipes changed from round to chrome-plated squares. The exterior color is bright silver instead of electric silver, and denim blue is added.
In the interior, physical buttons are minimized. The graphics of Air Vent are different depending on the model, but the overall layout is the same. The way of expressing texture is also Volvo’s best. The non-capacitive infrared type touch screen feels very smooth. Swiping is also good. However, it is a common feature of touch screens in this era, which leaves traces of finger prints. As for emotional equipment, B&W sound system, clean zone interior with air cleaning system, and 4-zone independent temperature control system are also suitable for the segment.
Seats are standard for 5 people. There is a small Swedish flag on the side of the seatback. There are also four seats with two-row seats for two and seven seats with three-row seats. The test drive is a 7-seater model, and there are separate air conditioning systems, armrests, and cup holders in the 3rd row. Space is limited for adults in row 3 to board for a long time. Users in the Korean market are expected to use it more as a loading space.
Powertrain & Impression
The engines of the XC90 are all based on a 1,969cc in-line four-cylinder. Depending on the output figures, the plug-in hybrid version T8 remains the same, but the T5 and T6 have been replaced by the mild hybrid versions B5 and B6, respectively.
The B6 engine is a gasoline-based high-performance mild hybrid powertrain that replaces the existing T6 engine according to Volvo’s electrification strategy. It exhibits a maximum output of 300 horsepower and a maximum torque of 42.8 kgm. The 48-volt mild hybrid system has its own maximum output of 14ps and maximum torque of 40.07kgm. Power assist and braking energy recovery in the low-speed range is also natural and reduces exhaust gas by up to 15%.
It is also characterized by the adoption of the cylinder rest structure of the 3rd generation Drive E. When the engine speed is less than 3,000rpm, the speed of the car is 30~160km/h, and the torque is stable and there is no shifting motion, the 1st and 4th of the four cylinders stop combustion. However, it does not work in dynamic mode, manual mode, when the catalyst temperature is low, or when idling. ISGM is utilized to eliminate the impact of this switching operation.
The transmission is a torque converter type 8-speed AT. Unlike the D5, which was a boot type, the selector lever also uses a crystal made by Orepos. The driving method is AWD. 0-100km/h acceleration performance is 6.7 seconds.
First, the order of checking the gear ratio. Engine rotation at 100km/h is around 1,600rpm. This is higher than the 1,300rpm of the Audi A6 gasoline, but lower than the average setting. The red zone starts at 7,000 rpm.
When fully accelerated from a standstill, it shifts up around 6,300 rpm. Shifting from 50km/h to 2nd gear, 80km/h to 3rd gear and 120km/h to 4th gear. Considering the eighth gear, the gear ratio is wide. The rash feeling is different from the T8, but there is no shortage as a family car. Of course, the weight of the T8 is not as high as 5.6kg/ps in terms of output, but 7.2kg/ps is also a necessary and sufficient condition. In particular, there is no shortage considering that today’s consumer demand for automobiles is moving toward indoor experience rather than such acceleration.
The texture of rotation and the sense of rise are smoother than typical cheeks. Still, the point at which the maximum torque is generated is 2,100 rpm, which is different from cars equipped with a 3.0 liter engine installed in this class today. Of course, for users who value the sense of the right foot. Considering that there are not many drivers doing full throttle now except in special cases, if you accelerate with a medium tone on your right foot, you can control the situation through acceleration and deceleration sufficiently even when driving on a highway. Still, the level is now forgotten, but if you expect a high sense of acceleration to use the expression’violent’ like in the past, you can choose the T8.
In the past, Volvo diesel engines also had very high levels of noise suppression, but gasoline engines are more than that. The tone is smooth as well as the level of quietness that fits the grade. When driving at high speed, the road noise is sufficiently suppressed and there is no sound of wind breaking. In particular, it is characterized by maintaining the same tone up to the high-speed range. The noise does not increase even when the engine rotation is increased. It also benefits from the adoption of double-bonded laminate windows.
Suspension double wishbone front, multi-link rear. The damping stroke is finer than the T8, but it feels a little softer. It is a setting that takes into account the behavior of family cars in this era that values comfort and comfort. If the damping stroke is long, the roll angle does not increase. Air suspension is not applied.
The handling characteristics centered on the rock-to-lock 2.8-turn steering wheel is a weak underneath characteristic of the four-wheel rolling method. The steering wheel’s responsiveness isn’t sharp, but it responds as linearly as desired. If you intentionally attempt to corner excessively, you will feel a fine centrifugal force like a car with a high center of gravity, but the tire will not scream badly. In the case of the T8, there was a feeling that the rear of the car body was following a little later, but the test drive does not have that behavior. It was the same with the D5, but I don’t feel like running with the drive mode specially dynamic. It may be because the character of this car is set that way.
As for the XC90, the driver assistance system, like the’Volvo of Safety’, is the point. Volvo’s Intelli-Safe is standard on all models. At the time of the current model’s debut, the performance of the collision avoidance and fully automatic brakes was improved. Complete avoidance of collisions up to 50 km/h became possible. It can detect pedestrians and bicycles, including at night, and has adopted the world’s first large-scale animal recognition function. This can be completely avoided at speeds below 45 km/h.
ACC has a forward monitoring function using a milliparator and a full vehicle speed tracking function. The radar installation site for this was moved from the front of the vehicle in front of the rearview mirror inside the front glass. If the wiper was contaminated, he accepted the complaint that it was not possible to use it. As a result, the field of view also expanded. If it is less than 50km/h, it automatically assists the steering so as not to cross the lane in addition to the automation of the accelerator pedal and brake. It is an active steering assistance system with a function that has evolved to PAS2. It recognizes the left and right lanes and allows the body to run through the center of the car. Operates above 65km/h.
The ADAS function uses the same system for all models. If you press the button on the left spoke of the steering wheel to turn on the ACC function and activate the pilot assist with the triangular button just above, you will move forward while maintaining the center of the car, as do other Volvo models. Even at the gentle corner of the highway, proceed without stepping on the lane. It will warn after 10 seconds and will be released if you do not hold the steering wheel again after 5 seconds. The lane center maintenance function, Pilot Assist, operates at speeds of 140 km/h or less.
In addition, it covers a variety of advanced safety equipment that Volvo first introduced and improved, such as blind spot warning device, rear vehicle warning when reversing, lane maintenance assistance, and full active high beam. When turning left, the intersection support function is also set, which detects a car coming from the front and applies brakes if there is a risk of collision.
Among global players, the Volvo brand has the most concise lineup and powertrain composition and shows its direction accurately. Above all, it is constructing a persuasive powertrain by presenting the exact reason for the method of promoting electrification, which is the topic of this era. Although there are challenges at the global level of how to solve the battery problem, we are taking the fastest and most consistent strategy in the current situation. It is being accepted by consumers and the results are proven by the number of units sold.
Specifications 2021 Volvo XC90 B6
Length Ⅹ Width Ⅹ Height: 4,950 × 1,960 × 1,770 mm
Wheel base: 2985mm
Tolerance weight: 2,160 kg
Minimum ground clearance: —
Type: 1,969cc in-line 4-cylinder gasoline mHEV
Bore X stroke: 82.0/93.0mm
Compression ratio: —
Maximum output: 300 horsepower/5400 rpm
Maximum torque: 42.8kgm/2,100~4,800rpm
Fuel tank capacity: 71 liters
48 volt system
ISGM (Starter and Generator)
Maximum output 14ps, maximum torque 40.07kgm.
Format: 8-speed AT
Gear ratio: —
Final reduction ratio: —
Suspension front/rear: double wishbone / multi-link
Steering: Rack & Pinion
Brake front/rear: disc
Driving method: four-wheel rolling method
0-100km/h: 6.7 seconds
Maximum speed: 180km/h
Minimum turning radius: —
Fuel economy: Combined 19.2km/h (high speed 11.2/city 8.0)
CO2 emissions: 186g/km
Trunk capacity: 1,007 liters when folded in 3 rows and 1,856 liters when folded in 2 rows
92.9 million won
(Date of creation: April 18, 2021)