In all, it looks like a positively sumptuous place to sit, with sharp looking woods and a crystal shifter, crafted by Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. It's a clean, minimalist design that we imagine will age quite nicely.
Featured quite prominently – and the main part of the cabin that doesn't strike us as minimalist – is the very large touchscreen. Aligned in a portrait layout, which hasn't been done by too many automakers, it will be home to a new type of infotainment system that will make its debut in Volvo's flagship SUV. It also looks like we can expect digital gauges when the XC90 finally arrives.
Volvo has redesigned the seats with an increased eye not only on comfort, but (unsurprisingly) on safety. While we don't have full details on the safety changes quite yet, we do have some details on the ute's passenger-hauling abilities. The second row remains a three-abreast bench, but each seat can be individually reclined. Sounds darn handy when hauling kids, we think. As for that third row, which remains a difficult proposition in most SUVs and CUVs, Volvo is promising that passengers up to five feet, seven inches will find the back row comfortable. Ingress and egress should also be improved, as well. We'll put those claims to the test when we shoehorn six-foot, five-inch Senior Editor Miersma in the back during our initial drive of the next-gen XC90.
Volvo is really trying to stretch this reveal out. These interior images will be followed up in a few weeks by tech, chassis and powertrain details in mid July. The veil will finally be lifted on the exterior treatment by the end of August. Take a look below for the official press release and then hop up top for our gallery of images. Finally, register your opinion on Volvo's handiwork down in Comments.
ROCKLEIGH, NJ (May 27, 2014) - One of Volvo Cars' most anticipated car launches of recent years – the all-new XC90 – officially begins today by revealing what has been a key development area: the interior of the XC90. As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, people spend more and more time in their cars commuting. Consumer insights have led to the development of many of the new interior features of the car. Many of the style details first debuted in the series of three award-winning concept cars make their way to the all-new XC90 highlighting Volvo's new design language which is inspired by the simplicity, functionality and beauty that has become the hallmark of Scandinavian design. The full external reveal will happen in August.
The original XC90 was launched in 2002 and it revolutionized the SUV segment with its combination of space, versatility and safety. It went on to become a global sales phenomenon, nowhere more so than in the U.S. where it was the company's top-selling model for seven consecutive years from 2003-2009. Volvo Cars seeks to once again impact the perception of SUVs with the execution of the all-new XC90 where the space and interior environment, world leading safety features and environmentally advanced powertrains have been in the forefront of the development of the car.
The modern and spacious interior is the most luxurious to have been designed for a Volvo, taking its inspiration from the country of Volvo's birth, Sweden, which has a global reputation for integrating the latest technology with design that is clean, beautiful and crafted from the finest materials.
"The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system," said Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design of Volvo Cars. This system is virtually button free – a drastic difference to that of other cars - and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services.
The new XC90's interior combines the expected luxurious materials, such as soft Nappa leather and dark flame birch wood, with unique handcrafted details, including a gear-lever made of crystal from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glass maker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control.
"These details add a bit of exclusive playfulness rather than pure functionality in the otherwise pure and elegant design," said Robin Page, Volvo Cars' interior design director.
The all-new XC90 is the first Volvo to use the company's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which creates a far wider range of design possibilities, improves driveability and permits the inclusion of the latest safety features and connected in-car technologies, while at the same time increasing interior space. This new architecture enables the company to strengthen and reinforce its aim that by the year 2020 no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.
"Our new interior architecture is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect," said Peter Mertens, senior vice president research and development of Volvo Cars.
New seats and more interior space
Volvo Cars already enjoys a reputation for having some of the most comfortable seats in the industry. The new XC90 enhances this with an all–new seat design that combines comfort, support and style in a beautifully crafted package. As always with Volvo Cars, the development of the seats has included the latest ergonomic advancements and insights. The interior also benefits from more interior space for passengers in both the second and third seat rows, helping to make the new XC90 a genuine seven-seater.
"The full seat core has an ergonomic shape that resembles the human spine. A multitude of adjustment possibilities makes it possible for the individual user to create an ideal seating position," said Page.
The standard seats are available with intuitive, smooth power operation, including adjustable side bolsters, seat cushion extension, multi-directional lumbar support and vertical adjustment of the headrests. Three settings can be stored in the memory. Ventilation and massage functions are optional.
The all-new, optional Contour seat has been designed to offer excellent side support all the way from the shoulders to the thighs.
Individual second row seats and more space in the third row
The second row features three individual seats with recline adjustment. The sliding function can be used to create more legroom for the passengers in the third row – or to increase loading space if the third row seats are folded flat. An integrated child booster cushion in the center seat is optional.
The seats in the third row, which offer class-leading comfort for passengers with a height up to 5'7", are slightly centered to offer occupants a generous theater-seat-inspired view. Additional space for the feet under the second row seats creates additional comfort and legroom. Special attention has also been given to ensure easy ingress and egress from the third row and ease of operation, making this the best third row in the segment.
The all-new Volvo XC90 includes a number of storage options for the driver and passengers. All the seats in the second and third rows can be folded individually, which creates outstanding loading flexibility. The third row seats can also be specified with power operation.
Four-zone climate system
A pleasant and fresh interior climate is a vital part of wellbeing when driving. The all-new Volvo XC90 can be specified with a four-zone climate system with individual settings for the occupants in the front seats and in the second row. A separate air-conditioning unit for the third row is optional.
More to come
The all-new XC90 story will continue to unfold over the summer. The story of the latest advancements within safety and interior air quality will be released later this summer, while the reveal of the technology highlights, including chassis and powertrains, will start in mid-July and continue throughout the summer until the exterior launch at the end of August.
"The customer and the customer experience are at the heart of everything we do at Volvo Cars. We don't do technology for technology's sake – everything in a Volvo is there to make our cars safer and more pleasurable to drive," said Alain Visser, senior vice president, marketing, sales and customer service of Volvo Cars.