The XC90 pairs a four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged engine (the new twin-charged Drive-E system) powering the front wheels with an 80-horsepower electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The tree-huggers out there will appreciate the fact that the SUV can go as far as 25 miles on electrons alone as well as the fact that the SUV's emissions are 60 grams of CO2 per kilometer, on the European driving cycle (for comparison, the Toyota Prius Plug-In gets emits 49 g/km of CO2).
Everyone else may salute a seven-seat vehicle that delivers 400 horsepower and may or may not represent the shape of things to come for Volvo. Volvo Cars of America spokesman Dean Shaw said at the New York Auto Show in April that all of the automaker's models might be fitted with a plug-in hybrid powertrain but more recently backed off on confirming that and was noncommittal about any other models getting the powertrain variant. Oh well.
For now, check out Volvo's press release on the plug-in XC90, below.
• All-wheel drive, seven seats, around 400 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque with ultra-low emissions of around 60g/km
• Delivering guilt-free luxury SUV ownership
• New Volvo-developed Plug-in Hybrid, Twin Engine technology
Volvo Cars' all-new XC90 will offer an unrivaled combination of power and clean operation when it is launched later this year. The all-wheel drive seven-seater will deliver guilt-free luxury SUV ownership, offering drivers around 400 horsepower but with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). There has never been an SUV offering this level of power this cleanly.
"There are no compromises when you drive an all-new XC90," said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. "In the past you could either have power or low CO2 emissions. But with the all-new XC90 you can have both."
The new XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency. The main distinguishing feature of the Drive-E engine range is that they are all four-cylinder engines.
"With our new Drive-E powertrains, we have created a family of intelligent gasoline engines with power curves that give exciting drivability at the same time as delivering world-beating fuel economy," added Dr. Mertens. "With seven people in the new XC90, carbon dioxide emissions per person are outstandingly low."
The CO2 performance of the all-new XC90 will reinforce Volvo Cars' leadership when it comes to bringing more environmentally-sound technologies to market. According to figures monitored by European car industry association ACEA, Volvo Car Group delivered an industry-leading reduction of average fleet emissions by 8.4 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Plug-in Hybrid - Twin Engine technology
Volvo has made it possible for a four-cylinder engine to provide all the driving pleasure associated with a much larger engine and do so far more efficiently and cleanly. Drive-E engines will, over time, be introduced across Volvo's entire range and are already available on model year 2015 carlines.
For the all-new XC90, the top of the range plug-in hybrid 'Twin Engine' will carry the badge 'T8' and be a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one.
Normal driving is conducted in the default hybrid mode. This utilizes a two-liter; four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E gasoline engine that powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor that drives the rear wheels.
It uses the supercharger to fill in the bottom end of the power range to give the engine a big, naturally-aspirated feel, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up. The electric motor on the rear wheels provides immediate torque.
But at the push of a button the driver can switch to quiet and emission-free city driving on pure electric power where the range will be around 25 miles, and then, when needed, immediately revert back to the combined capacity of the gasoline engine and electric motor, with its combined output of around 400 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Volvo XC90 range also includes a T6 gasoline engine option. The T6 turbo engine with supercharger and turbo will deliver 316 hp and a maximum torque of 295 lb.-ft. The T6 is expected to offer a best-in-class combination of power and fuel economy, even when compared to diesel models.
Not only is there no compromise in terms of performance or efficiency, but Volvo Cars' new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) chassis technology also allows for far more flexibility inside the car. Other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, something that Volvo has managed to overcome.
"Since our new SPA technology is designed from the start to accommodate electrification technologies, the Twin Engine installation does not compromise luggage or passenger space," said Dr. Mertens.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The all-new XC90
The original XC90 was launched in 2002, and it revolutionized the SUV segment with its combination of space, versatility and safety. It went on to become a global sales phenomenon. The all-new XC90 will also be a transformational vehicle in its market segment.
The new XC90 is the first Volvo to use the company's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which creates a far wider range of design possibilities, improves drivability and permits the inclusion of the latest safety features and connected in-car technologies, while at the same time increasing interior space.
For more details on the all-new XC90 please check out the online media kit on the Volvo Cars Global Newsroom.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCNA media website at: http://www.media.volvocars.com/us and follow Volvo's blog at: www.volvoblog.us.