Volvo's as yet unseen, all-new XC90 is set to be the greenest SUV around when it makes its debut later this year.
The XC90 T8, as it will be known, will offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation.
The all-wheel-drive seven-seater will offer drivers up to 400hp but with CO2 emissions of about 60g/km. Volvo claims there has never been an SUV offering this level of power so cleanly. "There are no compromises when you drive an all-new XC90," said Peter Mertens, senior vice-president of research and development of Volvo Car Group.
"In the past you could either have power or low CO2 emissions. But with the all-new XC90 you can have both."
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The XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options, all of which provide performance and fuel-efficiency. The main distinguishing feature of the Drive-E range is that they are all four-cylinder engines.
"With our new Drive-E powertrains, we have created a family of intelligent petrol and diesel engines with power curves that give exciting driveability at the same time as delivering world-beating fuel economy," said Mertens.
"With seven people in the new XC90, CO2 emissions per person and kilometre are outstandingly low."
For the XC90, the top-of-the-range Twin Engine will carry the badge "T8" and be a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one. Normal driving is conducted in the default hybrid mode, which uses a 2-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine that powers the front wheels, while an 80hp (60kW) electric motor drives the rear wheels.
It uses the supercharger to fill in the bottom end of the power range to give the engine a big, naturally aspirated feel, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up. The electric motor on the rear wheels provides immediate torque.
At the push of a button the driver can switch to quiet and emission-free city driving on pure electric power, where the range will be about 40km. Then, when needed, immediately revert back to the combined capacity of the petrol engine and electric motor with its combined output of about 400hp and 640Nm of torque.
The current Volvo XC90 is already a class leader in fuel economy and emissions.
The rest of the XC90 range is filled out with the D5 twin turbodiesel engine with 225hp, 470Nm, which boasts a best in class fuel consumption of about 6 litres/100km, and the D4 turbodiesel engine with 190hp, 400Nm and a fuel consumption of about 5 litres/100km. The range also offers two petrol engine options. The first is a T6 turbo engine with supercharger and turbo with 320hp and a maximum torque of 400Nm. The second is a T5 with 254hp and 350Nm.
Not only is there no compromise in terms of performance or efficiency, but Volvo's new scalable product architecture (SPA) chassis technology also allows for far more flexibility inside the car.
While other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, Volvo has managed to overcome this with some clever thinking, and possibly a little witchcraft. We look forward to the unveiling later this year.