Earlier this year, Volvo put SUVs and CUVs on notice with the new V90, a car that proclaims, "the wagon is still here, it's still relevant and it's every bit as stylish and versatile as any utility vehicle." As of today, it's also built to be as capable. The new V90 Cross Country debuts as the rugged outdoorsman of the V90 family, an all-road, all-weather estate built for sure-footed driving on all of life's adventures, big and small.

"With all-wheel drive, increased ride height, and a chassis optimized for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions, the new V90 Cross Country takes our versatile V90 estate and adds the heart of an explorer," says Dr. Peter Mertens, Volvo Cars senior VP, research & development.

Possibly the most noticeable change from the standard V90 is the increased ground clearance. The Cross Country stands 2.4 in (60 mm) higher than the standard V90. Its large tires feature a softer design and more rounded profile, adding better grip and a softer ride on whatever terrain is below.

Contrast charcoal wheel arches sit around those tires, extending into matching bumpers, and Volvo will also offer a body-color option for those that prefer to keep things uniform. A front skid plate, distinct grille design, Cross Country badges and high-gloss black window frames further distinguish the new model.

Volvo explains that it also spent serious time tuning and tweaking the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) underpinnings for just the right combination of smooth highway handling and off-road prowess, a process that included reprogramming electronic chassis control systems. Also assisting drivers will be hill descent control and five selectable modes: comfort, eco, dynamic, off-road and customizable "individual" mode.

XC70 Cross Country goes for a swim

The new V90 Cross Country debuts 20 years after the original V70 XC Cross Country. Like the Cross Country models that came before it, the new V90 Cross Country is inspired and informed by the extreme temperatures and rugged terrain of Volvo's Scandinavian surroundings. It was tested in Sweden at temperatures as low as -40° F (-40° C) and was also shipped over to the US to endure the dry, baking heat of the Arizona desert.

Photos like the one below show that the 315-hp super/turbocharged 2.0-liter T6 four-cylinder will be on offer, but it's not clear if the other V90 engine options will be extended to the Cross Country.

The VC90 Cross Country will complete the greater 90 series when it launches. Volvo will begin production in Sweden during Northern Hemisphere fall, and the new model is listed on Volvo's website starting at US$55,300.

Source: Volvo

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