Volvo XC90 Gets Four-Cylinder Plug-In Power, Enhanced Safety

2015-VolvoXC90-1Volvo finally pulled the sheets off its new three-row XC90 SUV yesterday, and the initial details are pretty interesting.

First, Volvo maintained a much more square-edged silhouette compared to the sweeping shapes adopted by its rivals. The front grille uses the company’s updated grille, which now incorporates the updated Volvo badge. The headlights also have the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” LED running lights, which are subtle ways of playing up the company’s Swedish heritage.

While markets outside North America will get diesel engine options, in the US, Volvo is sticking with gasoline, for now. The XC90 T6 will use the new 2.0-liter “twin-charged” four-cylinder — meaning both turbocharged and supercharged — with 316 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. No word on how many speeds in the presumably automatic transmission, but we do know every XC90 will come with all-wheel drive.

2015-VolvoXC90-PHEV-1The more interesting and relevant piece for this site, will be the T8 model, which uses the same twin-charge four-cylinder but adds an 80-horsepower (60 kw) electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Combined output is claimed to be 400 horsepower and 472 pounds-feet of torque. The T8 uses a lithium-ion battery pack that should deliver a maximum of 25 miles of range in electric mode, and but other than noting the XC90 is a plug-in hybrid, there are few details around battery size and projected recharge times.

Volvo has also updated its active City Safety package, which is the “umbrella name” for the auto-brake functions, which cover vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

2015-VolvoXC90-interiorThe interior has plenty of appeal, and a couple option packages will allow owners to customize their vehicles to either an urban or “rugged luxury” vibe, with different exterior trim treatments, skid plates and wheel sizes up to 22-inch diameters.

Volvo says its starting MSRP of $48,900 for well-equipped T6 AWD models will include things like 19-inch wheels, a navigation system, powered panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth and more.