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In our last blog post, we mentioned a Volvo wagon that many long-time owners might be familiar with. In 1997, the 850 Estate became the first model the brand sold with their own all-wheel drive system underpinning it. Twenty years on, the Swedish automaker’s AWD technology has continued to evolve thanks to constant innovation, and the new Drive-E family of engines. But as impressive as the system found in the new 2018 XC60 might be, what’s coming down the pike is nothing short of space-age.

The Volvo models you might have grown up with relied on an AWD system that would only power the front wheels unless the rear wheels were needed. But the commendable stability the original system offered also had some drawbacks. Powering the back wheels some of the time lowered efficiency, while the viscous coupling made it necessary to replace all four tires if only one went flat. In modern systems, such as the XC90’s “Haldex” system, this is negated with even better traction results.

The intelligent systems on board our latest models enables AWD-powered models to all four wheels powered continuously with minimum impact on gas mileage. An evolution of the mechanical system found in the older 850, it no longer uncouples the rear axle when it isn’t needed, but funnels enough power aft to reduce drag and retain traction. This doesn’t just ensure stability on slick roads, but maximizes efficiency, too. In new vehicles like the XC90 T8 Hybrid, the electric motor gives the AWD system an even more intelligent edge, and paves the way for the future applications.

The Future of Volvo AWD
The 2019 model year will see Volvo fit mild hybrid elements to every model in its lineup. But this opens the door for more than better efficiency, but enhanced all-wheel drive systems, too. By fitting independent motors to each wheel, controlling power distribution based on road condition and even driving style become closer and closer to reality.

But we imagine that if you’re browsing our new Volvo model, you’re ambitions are for more than a technologically-advanced AWD system! To learn more about what you can find at our Gilbert, AZ showroom, browse our inventory and contact us when you’re ready for a test drive.

Categories: New Inventory, News