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Introduction of New SUV Shows Volvo's Thinking Outside the Box

November 28, 2001

Volvo is justly renowned for its safety features and its station wagons. In recent years, it has even won kudos for styling--something missing in the generation of safe but stodgy boxes the Swedish auto maker built from the 1970s through the mid-'90s.

With the XC90, the company is entering the highly competitive sport-utility market, one long dominated by its corporate parent, Ford Motor Co.

As this first look shows, the Swedes have kept the styling fresh and the look distinctively, well, Volvo.

Company executives won't talk openly about the rest, preferring to wait until the official unveiling Jan. 7 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But the car-based, seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive XC90 will have a full complement of Volvo safety features, including new rollover protection devices.

Volvo intends its first SUV to compete with vehicles such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML line. Engines for the U.S. market will include turbocharged five-and six-cylinder models.

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