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Volvo XC90 Preview

The new Volvo XC90 with the T8 engine driven in Tarragona, Spain.

We were recently treated to the first viewing of the new XC90 and whilst the diesel looks mighty impressive, it was the T8 Twin Engine Plug In Hybrid that stole the show thanks to its incredible power and low fuel consumption figures.

With the 60kw electric and 2.0-litre combustion engine working in harmony this new SUV produces just 49 g/km CO2, and uses 2.1-l/100 km or returns 104mpg in old money. There is 43 km of pure electric range and it can do 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds along with putting out a combined power figure of 407hp. The car has five different driving modes that deliver a range of performance and efficiency-enhancing characteristics. Using either a scroll wheel on the centre console or a touchscreen on the dashboard, drivers can choose from 5 different settings.

Hybrid: This is the default mode, suitable for everyday use. Here, the vehicle will automatically alternate between drawing power from the 2-litre, 4-cylinder Drive-E engine and the electric motor to deliver the best overall fuel consumption

Pure electric: In this mode, when the high-voltage battery is fully charged, it serves as the car’s sole energy source, powering the electric motor over the rear axle. The XC90 T8 has a range of more than 40km using just electricity, which covers the total distance many people drive in one day. And thanks to the regenerative braking system, this mode is super-efficient in the stop-and-go traffic of city environments. If more power is needed, the Drive-E combustion engine starts up automatically.

Power mode: Here, drivers get the combined performance of the combustion engine and the electric motor. On start-up, the SUV takes advantage of the electric motor’s superior response and instant torque curve, while the combustion engine gets up to speed. This combination offers better torque at lower revs, equivalent to that of a large displacement engine like the V8.

AWD: This mode offers constant all-wheel drive on demand. The advantage of being able to select AWD manually is that the driver can use it when needed, or choose to save energy for later.

Save: If the battery is charged, this mode allows the driver to “freeze” the battery level and save it for later use with Pure Electric drive. On the other hand, if the battery is low, the driver can use the combustion engine to charge the battery to a certain level for later use with Pure Electric drive. Overall it’s not just a fantastic looking vehicle but also more a look into the future and what Volvo is about to offer in many new models. They plan to completely change each and every model over the next four years thanks to significant investment. Right now in Ireland there are other hybrid alternative SUV’s on the market but from what we can see none are offering this type of performance. We hope to get a week long test drive in both the diesel and twin engine variant and its at this point we will be truly in a position to offer a verdict. Will people just buy a diesel powered XC90 with a starting price of €70,950 or is the T8 Twin Engine Plug In Hybrid priced at €80,950 the way forward. We will keep you posted.


Technical Specification

Engine Size – 2.0 litre turbo hybrid 60kw Engine

Fuel Type – Petrol

Power – 407hp

Torque – 640Nm Combined

Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 6.4 seconds

Top Speed – 230 km/h

Consumption (Combined) – 2.1L/100km

CO2 Emissions – 49 g/km

Road Tax – Band A €170

Base Price – €70,950