All you need
It isn't very often that you get permission to drive a car as far as you want. Most of the time you're restricted to about 1000 kilometres, or even 500, which is still quite a lot. But in this case, we were planning on going much further than that and in a very small matter of time. A Roadtrip from Switzerland to Barcelona, across the Mediterranean to Mallorca and back again. The whole trip would span the distance of about 2200 kilometres, and we just had the car to do it. I wanted something stylish, comfortable and fast; the all-new Volvo V90 Recharge. The V90 Recharge is Volvo‘s biggest and most powerful estate, and I was going to drive it across Europe to one of the most beautiful places in the World.
The car was loaded and with two additional passengers we set off at 06:37 sharp with Barcelona‘s ferry terminal programmed into the navigation. The trip would take over 10 hours and 1000 kilometres. When we set off, I instantly knew that I had brought the right car, because those 10 hours felt like 5 hours. After all, the V90 is such a good cruiser. With three people on board and lots of luggage, camera equipment and other necessities, the V90 certainly wasn‘t the lightest, but we still averaged around 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres. We blasted through Switzerland and straight into the vastness of France where a lot of traffic hit us but because the V90 is a hybrid, it can use some electric energy to its advantage at slower speeds to keep the fuel economy down. Most of the time we talk about fuel economy with small SUV‘s or hatchbacks, but on a 1000 kilometre road trip, fuel is pretty important. Relaxed and with spare time on our hands, we went through the Pyrenees mountains and took a detour as we crossed the Spanish border with France. Taking the scenic route along the Mediterranean and using some electricity in towns and backroads. Most people would say that Hybrids will be out-lived by full EV‘s, and in 10 years, that will most likely be the case. But as of now, they make perfect sense. Using electric power only in town is good for your economy and is just more relaxing. And when you have to go longer distances, you use your normal engine, it‘s perfectly reasonable and for me, it would be a viable option (if I would buy a car right now).
We arrived refreshed at Barcelona‘s ferry port with plenty of time to spare. Of course, we were pretty tired, but the V90 kept us safe and sound. At 23:00 the seven-hour journey towards the Balearic Island of Mallorca began. I was so excited about all the exciting roads in Mallorca, they have some of the best roads in the world there. But we arrived some 7 hours later, after sleeping maybe 5 hours on the ferry and drove directly through customs and towards our accommodation. The day wasn‘t over though, because it was warm, sunny and a perfect day to go on some backroads after having some well-deserved rest. The V90 took all the obstacles it faced with ease. Of course, the car is huge and that was a blessing and a curse. The huge trunk and cabin were amazing for loading in luggage and it took five people across the island with ease. Its size wouldn‘t be a problem anywhere else but in Spain, parking spaces and driveways are notoriously narrow. No damage was done though because the V90 has an excellent 360° camera with parking sensors all around. We had some issues going onto the ferry, the car and its sensors went crazy because the entry ramp was so narrow. Luckily for me (an MX5 lover) the V90 had a panoramic sliding sunroof, so I could enjoy some wind and fresh air inside of the car, and of course, get sunburned.
Mallorca is made up of many small towns in the south that melt into each other, but in the north there are mountains. Huge mountains the highest of which go up to 1400 metres. In the northeast though, there is the famous Cap Formentor. This place has been used for many movies and car commercials because the whole scenery is just that pretty. Usually, these roads get very busy, especially in the summer and the place is swarmed by tourists and bikers.
When we got there, it wasn‘t quiet but also not overcrowded. This was the time for the V90 to show its potential on some twisty roads. The electric motor is good for in-town driving, the combustion engine good for cruising, but combined they are just glorious. Combined they produce 390 Horsepower and 640 NM of Torque and the V90 goes from 0 - 100 km/h in a blistering 5.3 seconds. Those are some impressive numbers for a big family estate. But the V90 Recharge isn‘t what we call „pseudo-sporty“. Many car-manufacturers put their sporty badge on everything, looking at Audi, BMW and Mercedes specifically here. S-Line, M-Sport and all the other nonsense makes the cars interesting for people that know nothing about cars, but putting sporty badging on everything, just doesn‘t work for us. The V90 is truly understated and is unobtrusive, it‘s just another Volvo estate. But even on the narrow roads of Cap Formentor, it‘s very nimble for its size and in a straight line, it‘s eyeopening. I have never driven a car, that does so many things at once. It can drive sensibly through a town, without disturbing anyone and keeping it climate-friendly. It can cruise across a continent in total comfort and also keeping emissions low. And it absolutely can make you rewrite the laws of physics through a bend on your favourite roads. I fell in love with this car, as simple as that. Some might think, the best cars are those that do 0 - 100 in 3 seconds and can tear up a racetrack, but for once, I looked at this car, as if I‘m living with it and it does everything I want it to be. After all, it‘s a fast Volvo estate. Thank‘s so much to the guys at Volvo Switzerland for making this possible, it was an amazing journey and the V90 was very happy to be back home but I‘ll be missing it. Until I buy one for myself in around 10 years.