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The Volvo XC90 now comes with actual KERS

F1 tech in a big, seven-seat Swedish SUV? You'd better believe it

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Ladies and gents, feast your eyes on the facelifted Volvo XC90. Looks pretty much exactly the same as the current one, doesn’t it? Given how much we love Volvo’s design language at the moment, though, that’s no bad thing at all.

Under the skin are where the biggest changes come. Volvo is introducing a new range of ‘B’-badged cars, of which a B5 (a bit powerful) and B6 (a bit more powerful) will be available in the seven-seat SUV. This moniker will refer to plug-in hybrids that utilise a new kinetic energy recovery system (aka KERS), using the energy usually lost in braking to help power an electric motor. Yes, it’s Formula 1 tech in a Volvo.

As the Swedish company pushes to reach its electrification goals, the top of the range T8 Twin Engine has also been upgraded to provide around 15 per cent greater range – good news if you still require 400bhp as you attempt to save the world.

As it’s Volvo, all recent safety developments from other models have been introduced to the XC90, and the infotainment system has also been given a boost so that it now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

And contrary to how it may seem at first glance, there have actually been some minor updates to the exterior of the big Swede. That front grille is fresh and there are new alloy wheels, while the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights remain untouched.

Elsewhere there are two new paint colours with fantastically grandiose names. What do you think of the ‘Thunder Grey’ and ‘Birch Light Metallic’ cars in the images above? The Thunder Grey car is in more assertive R-Design trim in case you want to play spot the difference between the two.

All in all, it seems like there wasn’t too much to do for the engineers at the Torslanda factory, usually the sign of a properly good car. Indeed the last XC90 survived 14 years on minor updates. Reckon, after four years on sale, this second one can do the same?

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