New 48V diesel mild hybrid is badged B5

New 48V diesel mild hybrid is badged B5

Volvo Cars UK has upgraded its flagship seven-seat XC90 SUV with styling tweaks, extra equipment, a longer EV range for the petrol-electric plug-in versions and the local market launch of a new diesel, 48V mild hybrid powertrain.

The 2020 model year UK XC90 range is the first to offer the new mild-hybrid engine powertrain, in this case a diesel designated B5. This combines the two litre 235hp diesel engine with a 48 volt battery, a KERS kinetic energy recovery system and an integrated starter generator.

The system is claimed to improve fuel economy – by up to 15% in real-world driving – and produces lower NOx emissions than the outgoing D5 diesel it replaces.

Energy captured by the KERS system when the car brakes or decelerates is stored as electricity in the battery. This is used to supplement the engine's performance when accelerating and to power ancillary functions such as the headlights and audio system. The technology will also be applied to petrol engines in the coming year.

The B5 also gets an updated automatic transmission, which brings improved fuel efficiency and gearshift quality. Acceleration from a standstill is sharper, too, thanks to a greater torque capacity in the lower gears. The B5 also breaks new ground for Volvo by using a brake by wire system.

The XC90's T8 Twin Engine petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain has been revised, with an increase in the high-voltage battery's capacity from 10.4 to 11.8 kilowatt hours. This increases the car's electric only driving range from up to 21.7 to a maximum of 28.6 miles.

The styling changes focus on detailing, with new grille and lower front bumper designs. The air intakes also have a fresh look and new alloy wheel designs have been introduced. All XC90 versions also now come with integrated roof rails and dual integrated exhaust tailpipes as standard.

R-Design variants have new black high-gloss finish for the exterior trim, including the door mirror casings, window frames and roof rails. Inscription-grade versions have a new chrome strip that runs the full width of the rear bumper. There are also new paint colours.

Inside, the R-Design versions can now be specified with a new slate upholstery colour, in addition to the exisitng, darker, Charcoal option.

All XC90s now have two USB ports in the cabin as standard. Momentum-grade models add power adjustment for the front passenger seat and the T8 Twin Engine versions get a purpose-designed bag to store the recharging cable.

On the road prices start at GBP52,235 for the T5 Momentum.

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