Volvo Celebrates 20 Years Of AWD Technology [w/Video]

Volvo is celebrating 20 years of building cars equipped with mechanical All-Wheel Drive by sending some of its most capable models out on a frozen lake in Sweden.

The Swedish automaker is actually running winter test drives, meant to showcase their mechanical and new electric AWD solutions for models such as the XC90, V90 Cross Country and the V40 Cross Country.

“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 R&D boss Henrik Green.

Of course, the reasons for seeking further advancements in AWD technology are quite clear. Cars can always be more economic, more stable, have better traction and handle better on slippery surfaces.

“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 powertrain applications, we will see increased opportunities to control each motor and wheel independently, based on either the surface conditions or the desired driving style,” added Green.

The Swedish brand’s “Active On Demand” AWD technology makes sure that all four wheels are permanently engaged to allow for instant distribution of torque to the rear wheels when needed. The automaker’s modern-day mechanical AWD system is modular in its design and is currently being used on all Volvo models.

Volvo’s All-Wheel Drive versions currently account for over 50% of new 90 Series model orders, whereas across the entire range, the number is over 40%.

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