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Volvo’s latest SUV promises stress-free driving

The Volvo XC40 will be an SUV for city living. — AFP picThe Volvo XC40 will be an SUV for city living. — AFP picSTOCKHOLM, Sept 2 — The new Volvo XC40 is Volvo’s first SUV designed from the ground up to cope with the unique challenges of urban driving. Set for its official unveiling this autumn, the XC40 will be Volvo’s smallest SUV ever and, as it will be arriving in a vehicle segment already overflowing with options from the likes of Audi, BMW Range Rover and Mercedes at the premium end of the scale right across to VW, Nissan and Ford in the mainstream space, the company is doing absolutely everything it can to ensure that the new model offers features and benefits that are genuinely unique in the sector.

“The XC40 is our first car in this rapidly growing segment and has a clear focus on navigating today’s hectic city environments,” said company CEO Håkan Samuelsson. “[It] will offer the best possible safety standards combined with an easy-to-use interface and convenient connected services.”

In August, the company revealed that the new car’s features had been based on extensive research aimed at understanding how city dwellers use their cars and how navigating primarily urban spaces on a regular basis can negatively impact their wellbeing.

“Modern city life presents complex challenges for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. With the XC40, we aim to reduce the so-called cognitive load on the driver,” said Malin Ekholm, Vice President Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

So, the car will come with a semi-autonomous driving system optimised for highway use but will also get the latest iteration of Volvo’s city safety system that tracks the movement of cyclists and pedestrians and can automatically slow down or stop in the event of a potential collision. The car will also get cross traffic alert. It scans the area behind the car so that if the driver needs to reverse out of a space into the road, he or she can be certain the coast is clear. The final touch is a 360° camera so that users have a clear view of everything surrounding the car so they can navigate tight parking spaces with confidence.

“While our safety and driver-assistance systems actively identify and mitigate potential conflicts, you as a driver can relax more and therefore enjoy city driving,” said Ekholm.

As well as premium safety and driver assistance systems that are a rarity in the compact SUV segment, the XC40 will also have a simple-to-use, intuitive and top specification infotainment system as standard so that even things like using satellite navigation, getting traffic alerts or mirroring smartphone apps to the car’s dashboard don’t add to driver stress.

“We built a confident, easy-to-use and convenient everyday user experience based on real-life interaction and research, starting from our foundation of leading safety. The XC40 is a car for a generation of consumers that expect full connectivity. All the screens have been optimised for a safe, easy and efficient interaction, to support active city driving,” said Ödgärd Andersson, Vice President Vehicle Software & Electronics at Volvo Cars. — AFP-Relaxnews

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