Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, is celebrating 20 years of mechanical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) by putting some of its most capable cars through their paces on the frozen lakes around the Northern Swedish ski resort of Åre.
The Swedish car maker is running a winter test drive showcasing its leading mechanical and new electric All-Wheel Drive solutions on the all-road, all-weather XC90, V90 Cross Country and V40 Cross Country models.
“Volvo cars are well known for what we call ‘framkomlighet’ in Swedish – the ability to get you wherever you want to go – regardless of the weather conditions. This is an important part of our heritage and a clear reflection of who we are and where we come from. With the recent addition of electric All-Wheel Drive to our top-of-the-line products we have further refined our performance in this important area,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
Advances in AWD technology mean that improved handling, stability and traction continue to provide a confident, agile and enjoyable driving experience while reducing fuel consumption.
“Electrification will bring ever more flexibility to AWD. You can see the first signs of this in our XC90 T8 Twin Engine, where we have an electric rear-axle drive unit powering the rear wheels. As we move to full battery electric vehicles and other power-train applications, we will see increased opportunities to control each motor and wheel independently, based on either the surface conditions or the desired driving style,” said Henrik Green.
As AWD technology has advanced, the weight of mechanical systems has come down and efficiency has improved. Since the introduction of efficient ‘Active On Demand’ technology, all four wheels are always engaged to allow for the instant distribution of torque to the rear wheels when needed. The actual torque applied is controlled to constantly deliver the right properties regarding handling, stability and traction at any moment. Volvo Cars’ current mechanical AWD system is modular in design and used on all Volvo models.
“We understand the needs of our customers. We understand the need for a flexible AWD solution that quickly and automatically adapts to different real-world, all-weather circumstances. AWD is as much a safety feature as it is a vehicle dynamics system and we are committed to delivering a confident, balanced and enjoyable driving experience that delivers a feeling of full control,” added Henrik Green.
All-Wheel Drive variants account for over 50 per cent of new 90 Series car orders for the Swedish car maker. Across the wider Volvo Cars model range, the figure is over 40 percent.