Ahead of its official U.S. market launch in a few months’ time, Volvo has released official pricing for the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid.
Announced rather quietly — which we’ll admit we and other news outlets missed completely — pricing for Volvo’s first full-size plug-in hybrid will start from $69,995 before incentives, inclusive of a mandatory $995 handling and delivery fee.
For that, you’ll get an impressively-equipped seven-seat SUV, complete with all of the standard safety features found in every Volvo today as well as two new technologies which Volvo says makes this its safest car yet.
First is something called “Run-off Road Protection,” a feature which makes use of a series of sensors and cameras hidden in the body of the car to detect if the car is about to drift off the road due to driver fatigue, distraction or poor weather. When it detects it is about to leave the road, the XC90 T8 applies extra steering torque to keep itself on the road, sounds an internal alarm to warn the drive and its occupants, and tightens the front seat belts to keep the occupants in the best possible psotision in case of collision.
The second is an advancement of Volvo’s cross-collision technology — including an automatic braking system that will automatically stop the car if it detects the driver is trying to turn in front of an oncoming car at an intersection.
Like the rest of the 2016 Volvo XC90 family, the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 is built on Volvo’s all-new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which has been designed from the ground up to accept a variety of different drivetrains.
In the case of the XC90 T8, that translates to a supercharged, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 60 kilowatt electric motor driving the rear wheels through a simple reduction gearbox.
This drivetrain arrangement, first tested by Volvo in the European-market Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid wagon, does away with the traditional prop shaft and transfer box of four-wheel drive vehicles, freeing up space for a reasonably-sized lithium-ion battery pack without intruding into the cabin. Called a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid setup, this arrangement also makes it possible for the car to operate in four-wheel drive, front wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive modes as appropriate.
Range in all-electric mode is expected to be somewhere around 24 miles per charge from the XC90 T8’s 9.9 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with a gasoline+electric fuel economy expected to be somewhere around 125-150 mpg U.S. in combined mode, or between 59-70 MPGe for electricity alone. You should note however that official figures have yet to be released.
Like other plug-in hybrids, the Volvo XC90 T8 has a variety of different operational modes, including All-Electric, Hybrid, and Power modes. The latter leverages the power from the gasoline engine and electric drivetrain at the same time, yielding a total combined system power output of 390 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of less than 6 seconds.
This makes the Volvo XC90 T8 the most powerful and the most efficient of the Volvo xC90 family, topping the range with both high performance and green street cred.
Also worthy of note is an all wheel drive mode which can either be entered into manually by the driver for tough terrain or which can automatically engage and disengage as required if the car’s sophisticated traction control system detects a loss of traction.
Thanks to a 34 kilowatt combined motor starter up front connected to the gasoline engine’s crankshaft, the XC90 T8 can even offer all-wheel drive in electric only mode, with the 34 kilowatt motor providing extra traction as required to what is normally a rear-wheel drive mode of operation.
Those who find the standard XC90 T8 is a little plain will be pleased to know that Volvo will also offer an R-Design variant of the seven-seat plug-in, which will start from $70,995 inclusive of delivery but before incentives.
Both models will go on sale later this year, but if the UK is anything to go by — where Volvo is reporting order books are full for this year, long before a single car has hit dealer lots — demand in the U.S. could be high, especially as this will be the first full-size plug-in hybrid SUV to go on sale.
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