As the current SA Car of the Year, the XC90 has many eyes on it, waiting to see what improvements will be available on next year’s model. Volvo have not disappointed!

For the 2017 XC90, Volvo have introduced 2 new technologies; semi-autonomous driving and the PowerPulse system for a lag-free diesel experience.

Volvo’s Pilot Assist will come standard on all of the XC- and S90 models. The Swedish manufacturer is however making it clear that their system, which controls acceleration, braking and steering up to 130 km/h, is not a fully-autonomous driving solution, and does still require the driver to pay attention to the task at hand.

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Apart from Pilot Assist, the XC- and S90 will also come with Adaptive Cruise Control as standard.

Volvo is in fact busy with a fully-autonomous solution, which will start testing in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017, as part of the Volvo Drive Me programme.

The 2nd technology, the PowerPulse system, will only be available on the XC90 D5.

The PowerPulse system aims to completely eliminate turbo-lag, which are commonplace among diesel engines. The system work by extracting air from the air-box via a compressor, from here the air is stored in a pressurised 2-litre tank. When required, the compressed air is fed into the exhaust manifold, ensuring the turbo spools up instantly. The system automatically refills the tank after each use.

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Volvo is the very 1st manufacturer to use this type of technology on a production road car.

Accordingly, performance and efficiency figures have improved. Power is up from 165- to 173 kW, whilst fuel economy is down from 5.8- to 5.7 l/100 km.

“These two new technological additions to the XC90 range will further boost its value and driver enjoyment,” comments Volvo Car South Africa MD, Greg Maruszewski. “Pilot Assist really makes those long highway drives far more enjoyable, especially when you find yourself in a traffic jam. And, with PowerPulse, the XC90 D5 is even better than it was before – a difficult feat to achieve.”