An up­grade for Volvo flag­ship

Gloucestershire Echo - - MOTORING NEWS - By DAVID WHINYATES

VOLVO’S up­dated range of XC90 lux­ury SUVS, first an­nounced back in Fe­bru­ary, have now gone on sale with prices start­ing from £52,235.

The flag­ship, seven-seater XC90 fea­tures new styling de­tails, ad­di­tional equip­ment, up­grades to petrol­elec­tric plug-in ver­sions and the UK de­but of a new mild-hy­brid pow­er­train.

The 2020 model year XC90 range is the first to of­fer Volvo’s new mild­hy­brid power train – badged B5 - which com­bines the com­pany’s es­tab­lished two-litre 235hp diesel en­gine with a 48-volt bat­tery, a KERS ki­netic en­ergy re­cov­ery sys­tem and an in­te­grated starter gen­er­a­tor.

The Swedish maker claims that the sys­tem im­proves fuel econ­omy by up to 15 per cent in real-world driv­ing and pro­duces lower NOX emissions than the out­go­ing D5 XC90 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 be ap­plied to petrol en­gines in the XC90 line-up in the com­ing year.

The B5 also gets an up­dated au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which brings im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency and su­pe­rior gearshift qual­ity and 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 also been re­vised for the new range, 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 by al­most seven miles to a max­i­mum of 28.6 miles, says the com­pany.

Volvo’s 250hp T5 and 310hp T6 petrol en­gines con­tinue to be avail­able and all pow­er­trains come with an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and all-wheel drive.

Styling changes in­clude a new grille and lower front bumper de­signs while R-de­sign vari­ants have been given an even more pur­pose­ful look with a new black high-gloss fin­ish for the ex­te­rior trim, in­clud­ing the door mir­ror cas­ings, win­dow frames and roof rails.

The new XC90 range is avail­able in Mo­men­tum, R-de­sign and In­scrip­tion ver­sions – each also avail­able in more highly spec­i­fied ‘Pro’ form.

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