Volvo’s V70 Cross Country may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a unique segment, with a truly unique buyer, but Volvo has something special for those that love this lovable wagon. Volvo developed the Cross Country to meet the rugged and unpredictable demands of the Scandinavian landscape. A vehicle of sorts was sorely needed to traverse all types climates and conditions, from mud and snow, to long distance highway driving.
Its dependability in these situations made it the Volvo of choice for outdoor expeditions.
“Cross Country has become the true expression of a Volvo car in many peoples’ eyes. It was a winning concept from the start, perfect for the tough climate and road conditions that we experience in Sweden,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.
In advance of the forthcoming V90, we join the Swedish automaker in looking back at the V70 through the years.
While SUVs were experiencing a new found interest, the V70 XC was coming into its own. Although capable, SUVs were more likely to roam about city streets than the wilderness. The V70 XC blended the utility of an SUV and the comfort of a car into a capable middle ground, despite it not being either one.
Second Generation: 2000 – 2007
The second generation featured more pronounced styling and higher ground clearance. In 2002, The V70 XC became the XC70, with the most advanced all-wheel drive technology at the time. In similar fashion, the upcoming V90 will incorporate the latest technology for maximum functionality.
“We were very careful from the very beginning to ensure that the Cross Country concept was not just an exercise in rugged styling,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Volvo Car Group.
In 2002, the XC70 would get a little (but bigger) brother with the XC90.
Third Generation: 2007 – 2016
With the arrival of the third generation in 2007, the North American XC70 accounted for almost half of the total volume produced. Dr. Mertens believes the new V90 will continue to define Volvo’s Cross Country namesake.
“We placed high demands on real-world capability, and as we developed the segment we added the comfort and convenience elements that Volvo drivers have come to expect,” he said.
The Volvo V90 fills a vital role for the automaker as they reinvent their product line. The V90 will stand with two of Volvo’s most prominent, the XC90 and S90. As such, careful consideration was given to the design of the V90.
“We have a very strong position in the wagon segment,” Samuelsson said. “While the Volvo brand today stands for more than wagons, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90.”
The 90 series emerges from Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The completely modular architecture opens up the potential for better driving dynamics, increased safety, and advanced technology. For example, the V90 features Pilot Assist, Volvo’s latest semi-autonomous drive technology. Pilot Assist can detect large animals, provide run-off road mitigation, and smartphone integration.
The Volvo V90 will arrive in the United States next year.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.