Volvo S90 2.0 T8  Hybrid R DESIGN Plus 4dr AWD Gtron
This is not a competitor for the BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF when it comes to handling. The Volvo S90 does nothing to encourage you to drive quickly – even though you’ve got nearly 400bhp at your disposal, it’s much more comfortable on the motorway or pottering around town than it is haring cross-country. It steers and stops fine, but make no mistake, despite the chunky power output the S90 is for cruising. And very good it is at that, too.
Just one. It’s called the T8, and it’s a plug-in hybrid that marries a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a small electric motor. The combustion engine powers the front axle and the e-motor does the rear, so you get all wheel drive. Combined output is just shy of 400bhp, which makes the S90 really quick. With the 11.6kWh battery fully charged it’ll do 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. Claimed electric range is up to 37 miles, but mid-twenties is more likely (and perfectly respectable). Charging the battery takes between two and six hours depending on what kind of plug/cable you’re using.
In practice the S90 shuffles power around smoothly – there’s no jerkiness as the petrol engine switches on or off and the eight-speed auto gearbox shifts smoothly. But the powertrain isn’t as harmonious as it is in newer plug-ins like the BMW 530e and Mercedes E300e. The combustion engine is louder and less refined than it ought to be, especially under hard acceleration and/or when the battery’s flat, and the whole system takes a fraction of a second too long to respond to your inputs. Like the handling, it doesn’t like being rushed. Which is ironic given this is such a quick car.
It is. You can’t get the S90 with the V90’s adaptive suspension, which is a pity because it’s not as soft or pillowy as we’d like, but it’s still a hugely comfortable car. The ride is mostly placid (though it can get a bit out of sorts if you try and drive quickly), and the superb seats and general ambience of the cabin make S90 mentally comforting as well as physically.
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