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This is Volvo’s 400bhp XC90 SUV
Volvo’s upcoming new XC90 appears to have taken various fruits from the motoring tree and blended it into one, giant smoothie. This is the brand new XC90 T8: a 400bhp SUV which emits just 59g/km of CO2.
Yeah, us too. What you get is a seven-seat SUV that claims to be the safest in the world, emits less CO2 than a city car and will outgun a Volkswagen Golf GTI to 62mph. “The XC90 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid and high-performance model rolled into one,” explains Dr Peter Mertens, senior VP of Volvo’s R&D department.
How does it achieve such things? For a start there’s a four-cylinder petrol engine up front, here powered by both a supercharger and turbocharger to produce a very healthy 318bhp and 295lb ft of torque, connected to an eight-speed gearbox (with a gearstick crafted from handmade Swedish crystal), powering the front wheels.
On the rear axle you get an electric motor delivering 82bhp and 178lb ft of torque, there’s a high-voltage battery which has been squirreled away in the central tunnel of the car - the XC90’s shell was designed from the start to accommodate such tech - together with a crankshaft-mounted starter generator.
This thing switches the car from EV to hybrid, as well as acting as an engine booster to provide an extra 110lb ft of torque when necessary.
So you get the option of five driving modes: hybrid (the default setting that switches between petrol/electric as it sees fit), pure EV that boasts a range of up to 25 miles, ‘power mode’, which you should gaffer-tape to the ‘on’ position because it gives you the full 400 horses - plus a 0-62mph time of just 5.9 seconds - and AWD mode and ‘Save’, which either freezes battery use for later or charges it.
“When designing the XC90 T8, Volvo Cars chose not to compromise on performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space,” says Volvo. We’ll have to drive it to find out, but it promises some Big Numbers…