Volvo’s 2015 XC90 gets T8 “Twin Engine” hybrid technology.
The original XC90 was introduced in 2002 and was perhaps the world’s most handsome SUV. Do you remember the Adventure Concept Car from NAIAS 2001?
It gave the industry and the public a taste of things to come, and it was well-received. The production version of the XC90 was surprisingly true to form. It was Volvo’s first foray into the segment, and it was a smashing success in terms of brand perception, sales volume, and marketshare.
That said, its replacement has been long overdue for some time.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 will certainly have some big shoes to fill–it appears Volvo intends to all-but-guarantee it will have no problem doing so. There is a lot of new tech involved, and Volvo plans to offer a range of its new Drive-E engines as well as a completely new top-end offering: the T8.
The T8 badge will be worn by XC90s equipped with a Volvo-developed Plug-in Hybrid system referred to as “Twin Engine”. This is a 2-liter 4-cylinder up front paired with an 80 hp electric motor in the rear–quite commendably, this setup will produce 400 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque.
Phrases like “guilt-free luxury ownership” and “no compromises” will be thrown around and repeated, and the idea of a large high-performance luxury SUV with emissions drastically lowered via assistance of an electric motor isn’t exactly new…
But the simple fact of the matter is that this seems to be a very well-executed and timely offering that will re-position the brand competitively in the 7-seat luxury SUV segment.
The plug-in aspect is a nice value-add, but with performance figures like these–plus the styling and in-car infotainment–the XC90 T8 would find a market even without the option to charge it from a wall socket. Perhaps an excellent internal argument for bringing the plug-in hybrid to market is doing so without offering a non-plug-in version.
Almost an afterthought in the press release, the XC90 is also the first of Volvo’s fleet to be built on their new Scalable Product Architecture… which means one might expect to see the T8 available on future offerings such as the rumored S90… The future looks bright for Volvo. Looking forward to the full XC90 reveal.
Volvo Adventure Concept Car gallery:
2015 Volvo XC90 Interior gallery: