The launch of the redesigned Volvo XC90 in the UK will move the model and its customer base upmarket as the line, currently priced from around GBP37,000 (though discounts of up to GBP10,000 are not uncommon), heads into the mid to late-forties.
Here, Land Rover products dominate but Volvo Cars UK sees the Mercedes M-class, BMW X5 and top Audi Qs as its main rivals.
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.
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.
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 40 kilometres, 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, best in class fuel consumption of around 6l/100 km and the D4 turbo diesel engine with 190 hp, 400 Nm and a fuel consumption of around 5l/100 km.
The range also offers two petrol engine options. The first is a T6 turbo engine with supercharger and turbo with 320 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. The second is a T5 with 254 hp and 350 Nm.
Parent Volvo Car has simplified the range to five I4 engines – diesel D5 and D4, the 254hp turbo petrol T5 and 320hp supercharged and turbo T6 plus a petrol-electric T8 Twin Engine hybrid – but the UK will skip the T5 and T6, offering D5 twin turbo 225hp AWD, D4 turbo 190hp FWD and the up-to-400hp T8 plug-in petrol hybrid. All will have a new eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and all will have seven seats – some other markets will be offered five-seaters as well.
Details of three-cylinder options will be announced in Sweden in October and more transmission variants, including manual, will also follow.
The current complex UK trim structure will be simplified to Momentum (replacing SE) and expected to account for 50% of sales; Design (replacing Sport) 30%; and Inscription (replacing SE Lux and Executive) taking the remaining 20%.
Volvo Cars UK head of product Iain Howat acknowledges the new GBP45-GBP50,000 price bracket is an increase “but that is where the main [segment] action is.”
YTD 2014, large SUV sales are up 20% in a UK market up 11%.
XC sales have averaged 4,700 a year over the last 10 years.
The global ramp up will be gradual. Volvo will initially sell, (from 3 September at 15:00 GMT) online exclusively, a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ fully loaded limited edition of 1,927 (homage to the company’s foundation year) and these First Edition cars – GBP68,785 on the road in the UK and the same spec globally – will be the first customer units delivered.
Regular order books open in October for May 2015 first deliveries with the UK pretty much simultaneous with other markets – it’s fourth in an ongoing tussle with Germany after the US and China.