Volvo’s all-new XC90, the most important car in the firm’s recent history, has made its public debut at the Paris motor show. Described as being “three years in the making and part of a £6.5 billion investment programme”, the Swedish car maker says the arrival of the XC90 marks “the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction”. It also claims that the new XC90 is “hard evidence of the ‘Volvo by Volvo’ strategy”.
The range-topping Twin Engine model will carry the T8 badge and, says Volvo, “be a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one”. It uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine to power the front wheels and an 80bhp electric motor to drive the rear wheels.
The most popular model in Europe is expected to be the XC90 D5, which has 225bhp and four-wheel drive. Deliveries of the new car are expected to being in May 2015.
The new XC90 is based on Volvo’s much-trailed Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) and uses the firm’s new family of Drive-E engines, which have already been launched in a number of the company’s production cars.
“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises,” said Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice president of research and development. “You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car.”
The XC90 also marks the beginning of the brand’s new design language, which is being masterminded by ex-Volkswagen Group designer Thomas Ingenlath.
The new grille, more prominent iron mark and T-shaped ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED daytime running lights will be featured on all future models. Volvo is also promising the option of wheels of up to 22 inches in diameter.