Swedish winter strengthens our technology

We regularly ask automotive journalists to travel to the far north of Sweden to try out new Volvos. After all, it is in the white vastness of the North, as beautiful as it is challenging, where true Volvo quality is born. The latest versions of our new V60 estate continue that tradition.

The Swedish town of Luleå is located a mere 150 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, and its beautiful yet trying surroundings form the backdrop for this year’s winter test drive for media. Journalists will take the new Volvo V60 Cross Country and the V60 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid through the wintery forests and countryside around Luleå, as well as over specifically created ice routes around the archipelago in the now frozen Gulf of Bothnia.

The setting of the test drive is of course chosen deliberately. It illustrates how Volvo’s cars are developed to endure the toughest of circumstances. Freezing-cold temperatures far below zero test the limits of flora, fauna, people and machinery. Capability on and off road are essential to navigate this landscape.

Groundbreaking safety technologies such as Large Animal Detection are the result of numerous chance encounters with moose, reindeer and other sizeable creatures common in the upper northern hemisphere. That’s right: those world-leading safety standards that are synonymous with the Volvo brand are often born here.

That is because this region is where our engineers do a lot of testing work as they develop new models. Even further north than Luleå, above the Arctic Circle, a special and secret test facility allows Volvo engineers to push new cars to the maximum in the most gruelling of circumstances. It’s how we create Scandinavian cool, literally and figuratively.

But the lessons we learn during our development work in the north of Sweden are universal: technologies designed to withstand harsh winters benefit our customers wherever they drive their Volvos. And while we are out in Swedish nature, we look around as well, finding inspiration for some of the most stylish and relaxing interiors on offer.

All round capability and versatility

The V60 Cross Country is the latest Volvo model to carry that famous badge. The first Volvo Cross Country model arrived more than 20 years ago and gave rise to a range of all-wheel-drive estate cars that are at home both in the cold north and on the streets of a modern city.

The V60 Cross Country combines all-round capability and increased ride height with the versatility that defines our long-standing pedigree in family estates catering to the diverse needs and realities of modern family life. It has a special chassis that enhances its off-road capability, while features such as all-wheel-drive, hill descent control and a special off-road driving mode are standard.

Meanwhile, the V60 T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid personifies Volvo Cars’ commitment to creating great electrified cars that perform in any type of weather. It combines the quality and versatility of our family estate with ultra-low emissions and the options of pure or hybrid drive.

It is another reminder that we are serious about electrification: from this year, every new Volvo will come with an electric motor and by 2025, we expect half of our global sales to consist of fully electric cars. Volvo’s petrol plug-in hybrid powertrains are now available on all 60 and 90 Series cars, with the XC40 following soon.