Where better than the world's biggest SUV and station wagon market to unveil a new car that attempts to combine the best of both?
Volvo has been enjoying a bit of a well-deserved renaissance of late. It has been dazzling crowds with a newfound flair for automotive design -- its concept cars have been snapping up best in show awards at all of 2014's major motor shows -- while its research and development department has been working overtime to create innovative new active safety and autonomous driving features.
Looking to continue building on this momentum, the Scandinavian brand has chosen the upcoming LA Auto Show to unveil the V60 Cross Country, a more rugged all-wheel drive take on the standard Sports Wagon estate car.
But as well as sending just the right amount of power to each of the car's wheels to get out of sticky situations or to locate grip when it is a rare commodity, the Cross Country has much better ground clearance for heading off the beaten path plus front and rear skid plate and extended bumpers for added protection.
Other intelligent touches include integrated exhausts which don't just look cool but ensure that pipes and mufflers don't snag on rocks or other objects. Likewise side scuff plates will keep the paint job looking pristine for longer, protecting it from stone chips and supermarket car park mishaps too.
"With ground clearance increased by 65mm compared to the V60, the Cross Country's sturdy construction offers unparalleled control on and off the beaten track, coupled with an enhanced sporty driving experience thanks to torque vectoring technology and corner traction control. The V60 Cross Country really is a getaway car -- enabling an adventurous lifestyle in pure rugged form," said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars.
Inside, the car is as smart as it is rugged outside with leather trimmed sports seats and contrasting stitching and in terms of power and performance, the car will initially be offered with a choice of torque-y diesel engines, the pick of which is a 179bhp four-cylinder turbo.
Volvo will start taking orders for the car in early 2015 and expects to deliver the first models to customers in June.