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Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 - T8 Twin Engine R-Design

An interior like in a living room: This is what the Senior Vice President of the design department promises: “It's light and cozy like in a Swedish living room. You'll feel so comfortable here that you won't even want to get out of the car. ”What distinguishes the Volvo XC90 and what sets it apart from the competition in the luxury class? The twin model designation marks a trend in the luxury class of heavy SUVs: the front axle is driven by a highly charged four-cylinder of the new Drive-E motors with 253 kW (320 PS) and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. This is done by a 64 kW (87 PS) electric motor on the rear axle. However, it only becomes active when traction is required on the rear axle. When starting at full throttle, the eight-speed automatic moves the vehicle with a total of 299 kW (407 hp) and 640 Nm of torque.
The hybrid drive has long shown the trend in heavy vehicles to further combine the combustion engine with environmental appearance. That will probably stay that way for the solvent target audience who have to travel longer distances in the years to come. We open the door and enter the living room. We take a quiet and dignified seat in the individually scalable leather seats. The interior offers a special atmosphere with a tidy, modern design and high-quality materials. A clear cockpit with reduced controls is an obvious feature. Less is more! And so the mighty SUV is easy to operate. A small automatic selector lever in the center console, in front of it the rotary switch for starting and stopping the engine and the handbrake switch.

Central infotainment

The main scalable control elements can be found in the upper part of the center console. A generous touch display inclined towards the driver is optimally placed between driver and front passenger and can be operated by both people. The three main menu interfaces are clearly separated in terms of content according to settings, functions and applications. All settings can be selected and scaled intuitively by touch. After a short time, the entire vehicle can be configured here according to individual requirements.
The interior offers a special atmosphere with a tidy, modern design and high-quality materials. From here, many functions can be set centrally, so that it was possible to exercise restraint with buttons and switches. Frequently used functions such as rear window heating, windscreen ventilation, radio and station selection can still be controlled via buttons directly below the display. After the driver has made the individual basic settings for the journey, he can make himself comfortable in the optional comfort seats, which rightly bear their name.
Turn the selector to the right and the displays wake up; After a short function check, you can clear the parking space using the round view monitor. The convincing feature of this model is the concave-shaped light alloy rims, which means that damage when maneuvering can be as good as excluded. The X20 stands and drives against everyday life on mighty 90-inch tires. The front axle is driven by the internal combustion engine and serves as the main drive source; if desired, it can also be switched directly to all-wheel drive. Otherwise, if there is no slip, the electric motor intervenes directly on the rear axle. The system is intended more to stabilize the heavy vehicle at high sporting speeds or off-road.
According to Volvo, the dual drive promises a nominal electric travel distance of 9,2 km at a maximum of 43 km / h from a relatively small battery with 120 kWh capacity. Anyone who takes the short distance to go shopping or to work could therefore drive purely electrically at close range; then recharge up to 100 percent each time and you could always run the SUV purely electrically. But that takes at least 2,5 hours with a 16 amp connection. This is where the contradiction lies in the concept: If you are already offering electromobility as a plug-in hybrid in the premium class, then at least one quick-charging connection is required. However, I don't know anyone who buys this moving living room for this purpose alone. So let's take a look at the advertised 2,1 l super standard consumption. Whoever wants to achieve this consumption in practice: He deserves an energy saving medal.

When the test vehicle was delivered after an extensive motorway drive, the average consumption on the display showed 12,4 l and with a full tank a remaining range of 450 km. So we readjusted the configuration again and switched to the selectable ECO modes. A lot can be corrected downwards here.
The test drives are carried out on different terrain. First of all, the XC90 hums along leisurely as long as it is in electric mode, then the four-cylinder intervenes violently at the first kickdown at the latest and accelerates the mobile loft in under 6 seconds. This is seductive and the accelerations are so good-natured that it is advisable to check the speedometer from time to time in order to stay within the prescribed speed limits. On the long haul, relaxed gliding is in the foreground. Our first test drives on the A7 and A21 at speeds of up to 130 km / h with the set ECO modes are a bit more moderate with an average consumption of 8 to 9 liters. At higher speeds, the consumption increases significantly, which is not to be expected otherwise with a net weight of a good 2,3 tons. Equipped with a double wishbone on the front axle and a compact integral axle with transverse leaf spring on the rear axle, the chassis cushions all bumps above average. In the long-haul area, the XC90 is a sedan chair on four wheels that is easy to handle despite its size.

green car magazine


A design look at the Volvo XC90 (Source Volvo)

N. Hawthorn
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