The Volvo XC90 is an impressive machine and we like it all the more in its new generation avatar. The Swedish SUV has done well in India thanks to its styling and unique features. While India has only one engine variant on offer at the moment, the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is expected to go on sale this July.
The T8 Twin-engine as the name suggests features a petrol and electric motor. Like the diesel, the engine is a 2.0-litre unit but is a direct-injection supercharged petrol. Since it's a plug-in hybrid, there's also a electric motor. The total system output is (wait for it), 400PS! Peak torque is an even more impressive 640Nm available from 2200-5400rpm. These are high figures for a 2.0-litre engine seen in a production vehicle. Volvo claims that the electric motor by itself will help the big SUV cover a distance of 32km. It also has your regular brake energy recuperation and all the paraphernalia associated with hybrid cars.
The Volvo XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid SUV
The engine is mated to the proven 8-speed Aisin gearbox available in the diesel XC90 that's already available in India. The hybrid Volvo XC90 will be launched in the Excellence trim and will come with all the bells and whistles found in the diesel variant. This includes a Bower and Wilkins music system, Nappa leather, seats with electric adjustment and memory functions et all. New to the Volvo range will be just a 4-seater configuration for the XC90. The four seats will have additional legroom than the standard XC90, even though exterior dimensions remain the same. Additionally, all four seats will have the heating, ventilation as well as recline function. Boot space remains the same as the standard car but will be separated from the rest of the cabin by a glass partition.
The four-seater configuration seen in the T8 Plug-in hybrid
The plug-in hybrid offers six driving modes - Off-road, AWD, Save, Pure, Hybrid and Power. The system uses either the petrol motor or the electric motor or both based on situation. The Save mode is meant to adapt the car to save and charge battery for later use.
While Porsche had offered a Cayenne Hybrid in India, there aren't any hybrid SUVs currently available in India. The Volvo XC90 plug-in will be one of its kind when it goes on sale and will also be India's first plug-in hybrid SUV. Volvo also says that customers who buy the XC90 will get their home's electrical systems upgraded to charge the XC90 T8. Volvo dealers will also accept bookings very soon, expect ex-showroom pricing to be close to Rs 1 crore. The XC90 hybrid will not stand to gain from the FAME initiative incentives, something which only locally manufactured cars like the e2o, Ciaz and Ertiga SHV enjoy.