Volvo XC90 Hybrid

400-hp twin-charged PHEV power for new XC90 could make him worlds's most powerful SUV

7/9/14 2:25 pm chumakdenis 1

Volvo rolled into new territory when it introduced the original XC 90 back in 2002, creating its first SUV and one of its top-selling models. But that was 12 years ago. In the meantime it's followed up with the smaller XC90, but what the brand faithful and the industry at large have been looking forward to most is the arrival of the new XC90.

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Previewed by the Concept XC Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show, the new XC90 is set to arrive later this year, but to keep us on our toes, the Swedish automaker has been steadily trickling out a stream of information and photos. Two months ago it gave us a glimpse inside the cabin, and last month it revealed its new infotaiment system and now Volvo has released details on the upcoming new XC90's powertrain.

But let's be patient and don't jump the gun.

We want to tell you about everything starting with cabin details.

Inside the cabin

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In all, it looks like a positively sumptuous place to sit, with sharp looking woods and a crystal shifter, crafted by Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. It's a clean, minimalist design that we imagine will age quite nicely.

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Featured quite prominently - and the main part of the cabin that doesn't strike us as minimalist - is the very large touchscreen.

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Aligned in a portrait layout, which hasn't been done by too many automakers, it will be home to a new type of infotaiment system that will make its debut in Volvo's flagship SUV. It also looks like we can expect digital gauges when the XC90 finally arrives.
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Volvo has redesigned the seats with an increased eye not only on comfort, but  on safety. While we don't have full details on the safety changes quite yet, we do have some details on the ute's passenger-hauling abilities. The second row remains a three-abreast bench, but each seat can be individually reclined. Sounds darn handy when hauling kids, we think. As for that third row, which remains a difficult proposition in most SUVs and CUVs, Volvo is promising that passengers up to five feet, seven inches will find the back row comfortable. Ingress and egress should also be improved, as well.

Infotainment system

Key to the entire experience are the large, portrait-oriented touchscreen, a head-up display and the thumb controls on the steering wheel.

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Volvo is claiming that this combination will be easier to use and, fittingly for the Swedish manufacturer, safer.

"Using the screen is so logical that it will become part of your muscle memory very quickly," said Dr. Peter Mertens, Volvo's senior vice president of research and development. "Information, navigation and media are high up and easy to check. The phone controls, application icons and climate controls are located low, comfortable to reach and touch. All of this logic is based on extensive usability and user experience research and the latest technology."

We  already know the system boasts  Apple's CarPlay system, but Volvo has revealed it will also offer up an Ericsson-based cloud system, a Bowers & Wilkins stereo, a  navigation system and, depending on the market, a range of connected features. Those include internet radio (apps like TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Rdio should all be found in some capacity) or the ability to find and pay for parking while on the go.

Engine details

While the previous XC90 was available with a V8 engine furnished by Yamaha, the new model won't be available with eight cylinders. Not even six. No, what Volvo has announced for its new flagship SUV is a highly potent four-cylinder engine that uses every trick in the book to optimize both fuel efficiency and performance.But what technologies were applied to create the fastest SUV? Well, the answer is below.

Twin Engine technology

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Volvo has made it possible for a four-cylinder engine to provide all the driving pleasure associated with a much larger engine and do so far more efficiently and cleanly. Drive-E engines will over time be introduced across Volvo's entire range.

For the all-new 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. This utilises a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine that powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor that drives the rear wheels.

1295.jpgIt 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.

But 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 around 25 miles, and then, when needed, immediately revert back to the combined capacity of the petrol engine and electric motor, with its combined output of around 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque.

Full range of other engine options

The Volvo XC90 range also includes the D5 twin turbo diesel engine with 225 hp, 470 Nm and best in class fuel consumption of around 47mpg (combined), plus the D4 turbo diesel engine with 190 hp, 400 Nm and a fuel consumption of around 56mpg (combined cycle).

Not only is there no compromise in terms of performance or efficiency, but Volvo Cars' new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) chassis technology also allows for far more flexibility inside the car. Other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, something that Volvo has managed to overcome.

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"Since our new SPA technology is designed from the start to accommodate electrification technologies, the Twin Engine installation does not compromise luggage or passenger space," said Dr. Mertens.

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