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WATERTOWN, CT 1/10/04  

Volvo XC90 builds on success - adds V8 powertrain


V8 extends market potential
Volume target - 15,000 units/year
Three-quarter of production to North America


The Volvo XC90 was introduced as the "Next Generation SUV" in 2002. Since that time Volvo's first SUV has garnered more than 30 accolades worldwide, including 2003 North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend's SUV of the Year.

The XC90 is the best selling European SUV in the United States, with its 5 and 6 cylinder offerings. In the USA, about 30 percent of all SUVs sold in the premium segment have a V8 engine. With the addition of its 315 bhp (311 SAE) and 325 lb/ft of torque V8, Volvo is now competitive in 100 percent of its potential SUV market.

"With the V8, we will not rest on our laurels but will build on our success," says Vic Doolan, president and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. "Our V8 package is the perfect fusion of performance and safety, versatility and value" he said.

Priced competitively within the segment, the Volvo XC90 V8 is transversely mounted and is sized to accommodate seven seating positions in the cabin. "The Volvo XC90 is the only European V8, with the versatility of seven seats," notes Doolan. Also a result of Volvo's Intelligent Vehicle Architecture - VIVA!, the area under the hood optimizes the "crumple zones" (a distinguishing Volvo safety characteristic).

Volvo XC90 V8: building on success

"It is also important that we, Volvo, can launch a V8 without compromising our core values," says Doolan. Environmental stewardship is a core value at Volvo. So it is consistent with the brand that the Volvo V8, the company's first in its 77 year history, would also be the first to launch such a petrol powertrain to meet ULEV II regulations in the United States. Volvo addressed emissions concerns with an improved cold start strategy.

Efficiently traversing the driver's chosen environment, the real drive behind Volvo's new compact powertrain is the use of integrated technologies. "Our new six-speed automatic transmission promotes driving pleasure with a smooth surge of power, that is subtle but convincing," says Doolan.

Combined with the world's first all-wheel drive system with Instant Traction, the package delivers enhanced grip on all surfaces. "A sense of control and confidence in any driving condition is essential regardless of geography," said Doolan.

All-wheel drive has become increasingly important to drivers beyond the traditional areas subject to inclement weather and harsh terrain. Volvo expects XC90 V8 SUV sales to be strong in Miami and San Francisco as well as in Boston, Chicago and New York.

Volvo plans to sell 15,000 XC90 V8s a year, with 75 percent of total production coming to North America. Sales start for the U.S. will be early 2005.

The descriptions and data contained in this press material (release) apply to the international model range of Volvo Car Corporation. Specifications may vary from country to country and change without notice.

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