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The all-new XC90 en­cap­su­lates ev­ery­thing you need to know about Volvo’s fu­ture. It’s based on a brand-new plat­form called Scal­able Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture (SPA), it es­tab­lishes a strik­ing new de­sign lan­guage for the mar­que, it in­tro­duces world-first safety tech­nol­ogy and the dash­board fea­tures an ipad-like 12.3-inch touch screen to con­trol in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment fea­tures. The XC90 is also the first of many Volvos to be pow­ered ex­clu­sively by four-cylin­der petrol and diesel en­gines, known as T6 and D5 re­spec­tively. But the hero of the range is the T8, also known as the Twin En­gine. It com­bines the turbo-petrol pow­er­plant of the T6 with a plug-in hy­brid sys­tem; the con­ven­tional en­gine drives the front wheels, while the elec­tric mo­tor is at the back. With a full charge tak­ing three and a half hours, the T8 can run for 40km on elec­tric power alone as a rear-drive ma­chine. When the bat­tery is ex­hausted, it turns into a hy­brid four-wheel drive that also hap­pens to be the per­for­mance flag­ship of the XC90 range. With 296kw to­tal sys­tem out­put, the T8 is sub­stan­tially more pow­er­ful than the 236kw T6, yet it re­turns 2.5 litres per 100km in the Euro­pean Com­bined fuel econ­omy cy­cle (T6 7.7 litres). The T8 also car­ries some unique equip­ment, in­clud­ing a hand­made crys­tal gear­knob from Swedish glass­maker Or­refors.

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