New Volvo XC90 gets an all four-cylinder engine range

8 Jul, 2014 8:00am Jack Rix

New 2015 Volvo XC90 will be offered as a 394bhp plug-in hybrid in flagship guise, returning around 110mpg and 60g/km

Volvo has announced full engine details for the new seven-seater Volvo XC90, due on sale early in 2015, including an innovative petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Producing 394bhp and 650Nm of torque, the range-topping ‘Twin Engine’ model has fuel economy and CO2 emissions of around 110mpg and 60g/km – that’s some way behind the 148mpg, 44g/km Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV but then the Volvo has a 190bhp power advantage. 

Turning the front wheels is a 2.0-litre petrol engine from Volvo’s new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family, but to give the feel of a much larger-capacity engine a supercharger boosts low-end response, while the turbo takes over as the revs build up. Spinning the rear axle for four-wheel drive is a 79bhp electric motor, fed by a battery pack that runs along the spine of the car.

Volvo XC90 T8 Hybrid: driving modes

Badged ‘T8’, the plug-in XC90 can be switched between no less than five different driving modes – Off Road, AWD, Pure, Hybrid and Power – selectable via the Tesla Model S-style portrait-orientated central touchscreen. Select Pure and an electric only range of 25 miles is possible before the engine kicks in to help propel the car and charge the batteries.

Volvo XC90 T8 badge

The only other engine choices are a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder Drive-E diesels, including the 223bhp, 470Nm D5 and the 187bhp, 400Nm D4 returning around 47mpg and 56mpg respectively.  An Eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive will come as standard.

“There are no compromises when you drive an all-new XC90,” said Peter Mertens, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of R&D. “In the past you could either have power or low CO2 emissions. But with the all-new XC90 you can have both.”

Best hybrid cars to buy now  

The all-new XC90 is the first model to be based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in early October before going on sale in early 2015. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but expected to be in line with rivals like the BMW X5 – suggesting a starting price of around £40,000. 

Is Volvo's XC90 about to set a new four-cylinder trend in the premium SUV segment or do cars of this kind really need six or eight cylinder engines to cut the mustard? Tell us what you think in the comments section below...

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Ford really messed up when it had Volvo. Should have done all of Fords new car development at Torslanda, because those guys are world class.

'world class'?! Are you clinically insane?! No one makes 4x4s like the Hindu-Brits -renowned for top class quality, reliability and very, very reasonable pricing. Get a Raaaaange Rover!! Trust me on this - I was right about the whole Beetle-in-drag Porsche 918 'Jennifer' thing after all. Rebekah and Rupert send their love.

Like Honda, i would love to buy this brand.
Also like Honda, utterly boring design.

Volvo were at their most exciting under Ford ownership!
Although the T8 is technically interesting and will no doubt push the boundaries, the refinement of those small superchared 4s won't come close to the warbly 5 or smooth 6 cylinder motors of the previous model. And that's before I get onto the wonderful V8...

You're very boring with your fake comments..

If Volvo were at their most exciting under Ford, then Ford should have made better use of them, instead of turning out turgid versions of the Focus and Mondeo.

V8s and V6s are heading to the dustbin of history. The progressive engineering is in more power per weight and PS per litre. This is why every smaller engines are appearing making their larger predecessors look like antiques.

Agreed on the PS per litre thing - although I think turbochargers are giving engineers an easy ride when compared to what manufacturers (BMW and Honda in particular) were achieving without them just a few years ago - but it's still a shame.

Like when the dining car on intercity trains, with silver service and table cloths, was replaced by the buffet car, with those nasty little triangle sandwiches. It's more efficient (less space used and fewer staff / less petrol consumed), and does the same job (relieves hunger / propels car), but it's just not as good in any way.

True. If I was buying a brand new XC90 (dream on) I would go for this T8 version, and I'm sure it would be very good. But in my heart I'd be wishing they still did the straight-six or V8 from the old car.

The silver service and table cloths were always a bit frayed and mucky though. And the change to sandwiches wasn't driven by imposed regulation.

A big surge of torque and noise from an inefficient large displacement engine has its place, but really in the grand scheme of things it's a trivial matter, fulfilled by classic cars for those that really need it.

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