The flagship of the Volvo range, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, has triumphed in the DrivingElectric Awards, being named Best Electrified Seven-Seater. It’s the first honour for the plug-in hybrid version of the large SUV since it benefited from a series of performance, technology and styling upgrades that make it an even stronger proposition – including an increase of more than 30% in its all-electric driving range.
“Front of the class”
Vicky Parrott, DrivingElectric Associate Editor, said the hybrid powertrain adds extra appeal to a model that’s already established as a market leader: “The Volvo XC90 has long been the king of the large family SUVs, and in T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid form it makes transporting seven people in comfort very cost effective indeed. Recent updates have freshened up its looks and improved its electric technology, ensuring it stays at the front of the class.”
Improved all-electric performance
Improvements introduced to take the XC90 into 2020 include an increase in the capacity of the T8 Twin Engine’s high-voltage lithium-ion battery from 10.4 to 11.6 kilowatt hours. The result is an increase of more than 30% in the car’s pure-electric driving range, from 21.7 to a maximum of 28.6 miles, which means the XC90 can complete typical commuting journeys with no exhaust emissions or petrol consumption.
The XC90 T8 Twin Engine is also exceptionally efficient for a large seven-seat SUV: it offers CO2 emissions from just 52g/km (NEDC correlated figures), with combined cycle fuel economy of up to 113.0mpg (WLTP data). This in turn contributes to low running costs with less money spent at the pumps and, for business/company car drivers, a low, 19% benefit-in-kind tax rating.
Desirable, stylish and practical
The technology deployed in the T8 Twin Engine versions of the XC90 in no way compromises the car’s style or practicality. The cool, contemporary Scandinavian design has been further refined recently, with new treatments for the grille and front bumper, and new alloy wheel designs and paint colour options.
The interior remains an object lesson in combining luxury, comfort and everyday practicality, the space intelligently used to accommodate up to seven adults with ease.
The T8 Twin Engine powertrain is available in R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro grades, and comes with a wealth of standard equipment features. These include all-wheel drive (via a rear-axle electric motor), power-operated tailgate, rear parking camera, LED headlights, leather upholstery (leather with Nubuck on R-Design and R-Design Pro versions), heated front seats with power adjustment, Sensus Connect connectivity system with nine-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, voice-activated control, access to the Volvo On Call connected services platform and a SIM card which provides up to 100GB of data, along with Volvo’s City Safety comprehensive package of active safety systems.
Features dedicated to the T8 Twin Engine models include four-zone electronic climate control with a cooled glovebox, air-conditioning for the third row of seats, a 4.5-metre charging cable and a dedicated cable storage bag.
Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK’s Managing Director, said: “This award is greatly appreciated because it recognises how we are committed to giving customers the performance and efficiency benefits of electrified powertrains with no compromise in the qualities they expect of a Volvo – beautiful design, genuine desirability, exceptional safety provisions and supreme quality and practicality.
“We are also busy expanding our electrified offerings. We’ve recently made our plug-in hybrid technology available across our entire model range, and we will be introducing our first all-electric Volvo in the near future.”