Volvo’s all-new XC90 range is yet to arrive in Australia, but already local customers are being assured that it’s on the improve.
But it’s no slouch, with a 235kW/400Nm 2.0 litre Drive-E four-cylinder engine matched with a rear-mounted electric motor producing 60kW/240Nm.
While the power output hasn’t changed, the T8’s green credentials have been ramped up even more with Volvo claiming a new official fuel figure of just 2.1 l/100km.
The CO2 readout has also dropped, improving 10g/km to a new low of just 49g/km, while the electric-only range is on the up.
Volvo predicted around 40km of emission-free driving in December, but has now revised that figure to 43km.
The carmaker says the improvements have come about through ongoing refinement, rather than a single radical change.
Otherwise, buyers can still expect the same XC90 T8 they were introduced to last year, offering four driving modes - ‘hybrid’ (default), ‘all-wheel-drive’, ‘save’ and ‘power’.
The XC90’s eight-speed automatic has been adapted to cope with the unique demands of the plug-in hybrid, including shift-by-wire operation and a larger oil pump to enable seamless switching from electric- to petrol-power.
A crank-mounted ‘starter generator’ has its own 34kW output for effortless engine starting while on the move, and can provide an additional 150Nm of torque to the driver when ‘power’ mode is selected.
With the improved figures in place, Volvo claims the T8 is the “world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV”.
The 2015 Volvo XC90 T8 will soon be available only in top-spec R-Design trim in Australia, priced from $122,950 plus on-roads.
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