Volvo’s all new XC90 could be most powerful car in its class

As the release of the all new Volvo XC90 approaches, Volvo is laying down a trail of hints like bread crumbs. Ordinarily the release of a family hauling SUV wouldn’t merit such so much time or attention, but if details of the new powertrain are any indication the XC90 is going to be worth paying attention to.

Like all new Volvos the XC90 will feature the new Drive-E range of 2.0-liter four cylinder engines, with options ranging from the twin turbo D5 diesel that produces 225 horsepower and 346 pound feet of torque and gets 39mpg, to the T6 a 320 horsepower turbo-supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. We have experience with that engine, and it is fantastic. But the real story is the Twin Engine T8 plug-in hybrid.

The T8 powertrain features the same gas engine as the T6, driving the front wheels, but there is also an 80 hp electric motor driving the rear. The combination is good for 400 horsepower and an astounding 470 pound feet of torque. Volvo appears intent on creating the fastest soccer moms and dads on the planet.

This astonishing power is also pretty green thanks to being a plug-in hybrid. Volvo estimates an electric-only range of around 25 miles. In an ordinary hybrid this would be nothing sensational but considering the XC90 is a big seven seat SUV the results  are impressive.

While the car has yet to be put through its fuel economy testing, but Volvo reports that it will release substantially lower emissions than any other vehicle in the segment. That is good news for pandas and owners of beachfront property everywhere. It is also an indicator that as with other Volvo plug-in hybrids fuel economy in the near triple digits  is possible, after all the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid on sale in Europe already achieves a rating of 120mpg.

Combined with the stunning interior and class leading tech that Volvo has already revealed, the XC90 might well be a force to be reckoned with. Only time will tell, but Volvo certainly has our attention.

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