The slow tease continues before the August reveal, and this is for all you audiophiles out there – Volvo has announced that it is teaming up with British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins on an optional sound system for the next-generation Volvo XC90.

The top-of-the-range Premium Sound system consists of a total of 19 speakers – seven Nautilus extended range aluminium tweeters, seven Kevlar midrange speakers, four cone woofers and a subwoofer. These speakers are driven by a 12-channel Harman 1,400 W amplifier.

In a signature move from Bowers & Wilkins, one of the tweeters is placed on top of the dashboard in the centre, facing the occupants directly. Volvo says this ensures a cleaner, more lifelike sound, as more of it reaches the listeners directly, rather than being reflected off the windscreen first.


Another notable feature of the system is the inclusion of an air-ventilated subwoofer integrated into the body itself, instead of simply being a freestanding box bolted into the car. Claimed to be a possible world first in the automotive industry, the subwoofer design is actually integrated into Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and enables it to pulse more air, delivering bass notes as low as 20 Hz.

Swedish audio company Dirac Research has also had a helping hand in shaping the next XC90’s audio system, providing an advanced sound processing software that manages the timing of the sound and co-operation between the speakers to suit different seating positions and can also recreate acoustics from certain music venues or concert halls.

In the XC90, the software has been tuned to mimic the acoustics of Gothenburg Concert Hall, located in Volvo’s hometown and home of Sweden’s national orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. In addition to this, the sound system can also be switched to a recording studio or a concert stage setting via the car’s central touchscreen.

The Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound system is just one of the systems that will be offered on the next XC90 – there is also a 224 W, 12-speaker High Performance system with an optional fresh air subwoofer.