L.A. Auto Show: New Volvo V60 and XC90 models signal relaunched brand

Volvo is making a play for the active types with the V60 Cross Country station wagon and its bigger sibling, the XC90 crossover. The Swedish automaker introduced both at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

The V60 made its international debut at the show. The XC90 launched at the Paris Motor Show last month but is made its North American debut in Los Angeles.


When Volvo uses "cross country" in the name of the V60, it means it. The all-wheel-drive wagon features increased ground clearance, front and rear skid plates and rear, side scuff plates and fender extenders. This is a family hauler designed for a dirt trek to a remote camping site or dinner and theater in the city.

“The V60 Cross Country really is a getaway car -- enabling an adventurous lifestyle in pure rugged form,” said Lex Kerssemakers, senior vicepresident of product strategy and vehicle line management at Volvo Cars.

The V60, for example, comes standard with "Hill Descent Control," which manages the wagon's speed automatically when heading down steep inclines, allowing the driver to focus on steering and looking for hazards.

The vehicle will get Volvo's five-cylinder 250 horsepower engine and is expected to get about 23 miles per gallon.

Volvo plans to launch the V60 in the U.S. and Canada first and then take it to other markets.

It will come out as a 2015 model year car when it goes on sale early next year and start at about $41,000.

The second-generation XC90 that Volvo is displaying at the show is a three-row crossover that will start at $48,900 when it goes on sale next spring. Two versions will be available in the U.S., each with a four-cylinder engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

On track to be sold as a 2016 model, the XC90 is the first vehicle conceived and designed since Volvo was sold by Ford Motor Co. to China's Geely car company in 2010.

It is expected to launch a barrage of new products from the Swedish automaker, with eight more redesigned vehicles headed to dealers by the end of 2017 as Volvo tries to regain sales in North America and elsewhere.

"We are not just launching a car, but relaunching our brand," said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Car Group.

Like other Volvos sold in the U.S., the new vehicles will come from Volvo's factories in Europe rather than in China.