The freedom to explore
A car that takes you further than you ever thought possible. The new Volvo V90 Cross Country, in its natural habitat and ready for adventure.
The adventure starts long before we reach our destination, a remote outcrop at the top of a winding road, precariously overlooking the coast. We’re driving here using the very latest technology: the new Volvo V90 Cross Country, a car designed to take you to the heart of the adventure in supreme comfort and style, whatever the conditions.
The landscape we’re travelling through is straight out of a classic adventure novel. We’re in an isolated corner of the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful but treacherous place where the right equipment is essential.
I remember this when I get into the V90 Cross Country to take shelter from the fierce storm that is rolling in over the razor-sharp, jagged peaks.
Watching the rain dance on the panoramic roof, I switch on my heated seat, use Apple CarPlay* to select a track to play through the Premium Sound by Bowers & Wilkins speakers, and settle in for the drive ahead.
With my favourite music playing, and the car responding instinctively to my inputs, the stress and worries of city life fade away. This is what adventure is really about.
Always in control
The road starts to bend and snake into the mountains and I recall a conversation I had with Volvo Cars’ dynamics expert Mattias Davidsson before this trip. He explained what makes this car special: “The slightly softer suspension and longer wheel travel of the V90 Cross Country results in a very high level of suspension comfort. But what is really amazing is the car still handles incredibly well, too. We have achieved the perfect balance between agility and comfort.”
Our path takes us off main roads and into the inviting landscape ahead. This means negotiating rocky lanes, gravel paths, fast-flowing streams and inclines that induce a sharp intake of breath. A 3D map on Sensus Navigation, displayed vertically so it’s easier to read, confirms just how remote this landscape really is.
Using the drive mode selector, I change from Dynamic to Off-road mode. The V90 Cross Country now displays a remarkably different character.
According to Mattias, Off-road mode gives you extra confidence in all driving conditions. “In Off-road mode the engine and gearbox are optimised for traction”, he told me. “The accelerator is adjusted to avoid inadvertently exceeding 40 km/h, the steering is set to comfort and the all-wheel drive distributes power between the front and rear wheels. This makes you feel very much in control.”
The grip from the all-wheel drive chassis and impressive ground clearance allow the V90 Cross Country to effortlessly make its way in this inhospitable terrain. And with Hill Descent Control, which is automatically activated in Off-road mode, the car can safely negotiate steep gradients. It’s a car that instils a lot of confidence in the driver.
As we pass fields of heather and hills shrouded in mist, the connection with nature, the sense of freedom and the comfort of being suitably equipped for the conditions invoke a spirit of adventure that you can only experience on journeys like these.
Our journey culminates at the Quiraing, a beautiful and mysterious escarpment overlooking the Sound of Raasay on the Isle of Skye. Surrounded on three sides by forbidding but spectacular mountains, we have reached the end of the road. It is now time to explore this wilderness on foot. I reluctantly leave the sanctuary of the V90 Cross Country.
* Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc.