S UVs are also so popular because they meet people's increasing need for protection better than other cars. Business psychologist Rüdiger Hossiep from the Ruhr University Bochum confirmed this general impression in an interview with the dpa in 2017. “And this need for protection is likely to increase, because road traffic is getting narrower and rougher.” In this respect, future customers of the Volvo XC90 Armored seem to have a particularly great need for protection. Because they don't just buy an SUV. You buy an SUV that is fully armored.
The Volvo XC90 meets protection class VR8
In fact, with the XC90 Armored, Volvo is responding to the increasing demand for an XC90 with armor. “Our customers are, for example, security services that transport people with a high level of protection in their cars,” says Stephan Green, Marketing Director at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles. The XC90 Armored is classified according to protection class VR8 (VPAM guideline from 2006). This means that it has to withstand fire from a 7.62 x 39 millimeter caliber assault rifle from ten meters away and offer comprehensive explosion protection. This puts it in the middle of the protection classes; the range extends from VR1 to VR14.
Volvo started developing the special protection XC90 over two years ago. During production, the Swedes work together with Trasco GmbH in Bremen, a specialist in armored cars. The base model, the XC90 T6 AWD with a 310 hp two-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine, rolls off the production line at the Torslanda plant and in northern Germany is given the body reinforced with high-strength, ten millimeter thick steel and the up to 50 millimeter thick windows.
2 t empty weight becomes 4.5 t total weight
But it doesn't stop there. Since the Volvo XC90, which weighs a good two tons in its normal state, puts on a 1.4 ton tank and the gross vehicle weight increases to just under 4.5 tons, other areas also need to be upgraded. For example, it will be equipped with a reinforced chassis and new brakes. Despite all the measures, the armored version should hardly be distinguishable from a normal XC90. 'We are trying to ensure that the car retains its usual characteristics despite the extensive reinforcement,' says Stephan Green.
The XC90 Armored, which can be ordered immediately and will be delivered from the end of the year, is just that Launch of a range of armored Volvos. The Swedes want to offer both the XC90 T6 AWD and its smaller brother XC60 with lighter armor from 2020. These cars are primarily destined for Europe and Latin America and are armored in Brazil, where, according to Volvo, “there is a great demand for reinforced vehicles”.