Randy Pobst guest hosts this episode of Ignition, and he gets to satisfy his rally fantasies in a car you might not expect: the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country. Afterward, the race car driver takes the lifted Volvo wagon on the back roads of Washington State to see how it handles the real world.
Though Randy’s dressed appropriately for driving an upscale Volvo, he’s a bit overdressed for the DirtFish rally school. Nevertheless, he gleefully flicks the V90 Cross Country through corners, kicking up dirt and gravel in the process. The wagon’s turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine makes 317 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is mostly routed to the front wheels but sometimes to the rear via a Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Randy compliments the crossover for its surprising off-road capability, and after he’s had his fun, he takes the Volvo in search of some good paved roads.
While he likes the engine when it’s on boost, Randy notes that it takes a brief moment for it to wake up if you take off from a light. The host calls the driving experience “serene,” a description that matches the woodsy landscape of the Pacific Northwest perfectly. Randy then comments on the state of the wagon body style in today’s crossover-dominated world before delivering his verdict on the V90 Cross Country. Find out what he has to say in the full episode below.