2015 VOLVO XC90: UNDER THE SKIN

Volvo South Africa has confirmed that the new 2015 XC90 will be offered for sale in this country, around about August 2015 or so. Top of the range will be the XC90 T8, which is powered primarily by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a plug-in hybrid system. This car will cost about R800 000 in Mzansi and we have some details regarding its powertrain.

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As mentioned above and in earlier articles, the T8 is the flagship of the range and Volvo has gone to some considerable length to trumpet all its attributes. We’ll attempt to detail just a few, including the fact that the petrol engine makes 235kW and 400Nm just on its own. When coupled with the electric motor it jumps to 290kW and 640Nm of torque, giving the SUV a claimed 0 – 100km/h sprint time of just 5.9 seconds.

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That is sports car performance, but what gives the claim even bigger eyes is the fuel consumption claim. According to Volvo, the XC90 T8 will average 2.5 litres per 100km, while returning an incredible C02 emissions figure of 59 g/km. Driving all wheels is an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

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The T8 has three driving modes; Hybrid, which is the default everyday mode that switches between the electric box and petrol engine; Pure Electric, where the car runs only on battery power and has a range of about 40km, and Power; which uses the electric motor for power-ups and petrol to get it going. Volvo says the Power mode makes the car behave like a big V8.

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The battery and electric motor are also interesting bits. The former is a high-voltage 270-400V unit that makes 65kW of power. It’s housed in the tunnel of the car, thus minimising its impact on space availability. As for the electric motor, that sits on the rear axle, driving the rear wheels and providing some 60kW and 240Nm of torque.

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One of the really cool – pun fully intended – features is something called pre-conditioning, which allows the car to be cooled or heated either from inside or using a mobile app, such that by the time the driver is ready to drive off, the interior is nice and cooled/ heated. It can be done while the car is plugged-in and recharging.

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