Volvo, born in the same country that gave us Koenigsegg and of course IKEA meatballs is undoubtedly famed for its safety innovations and concept of building cars around people. In 1959, Volvo invented the first 3-point seatbelt we are all familiar today that saved millions of lives. And instead of making money by patenting it, Volvo decided to give out the patent for free. This shows Volvo’s dedication to make automobiles safer, a passion that is still burning for decades.
Volvo is however, currently owned by Geely Automobile of China after Ford sold it in 2010 for $1.8 billion. While sales had been quite weak in recent years due to its aging product line, Volvo turned the tides when it showed the world their latest XC90 SUV packed with their latest technologies, and also premiered Volvo’s brand new design language led by Anders Gunnarson. With the XC90 on sale less than a year, it had already been met with global acclaim and we finally get to have the XC90 on our shores. The top-of-the-range XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid Inscription no less.
Like most Scandinavian products (maybe not Koenigsegg), the XC90 doesn’t scream “Look at me! I’m rich” from the outside unlike most American counterparts. The XC90 strikes a perfect balance of premium and understatement with a touch of sophistication. And no I did not quote that from a brochure, it’s just true. Even Koenigsegg‘s multi-million dollar hypercars have designs which are less in-your-face than a Lamborghini costing ten times less. So maybe is just a Swedish thing.
Like all Volvos, it stands out as one-of-a-kind and displays a certain unique, character that none of the German or American car makers have. For example, it fires up its 2 Litre ‘TwinEngine’ with a twist of a knob rather than push of a button.
Just when you thought Volvo is an ‘uncles’-car’, you are very wrong this time round with the XC90. Its humble 2 litre, 4-cylinder ‘TwinEngine’ produces a whopping 400hp combined, with 80 of its horsepower coming from its electric motor and 320hp from its super+turbo-charged engine. This gives the XC90 T8 a 0-100 sprint in less than 6 seconds with a top speed of 230km/h (Don’t forget it weighs 2.3 tons). Enough to keep up, if not outrun any teenager in their hot hatch.
Running on its 80hp electric motor alone, it will have a range of 43km with a top speed of 110km/h which is pretty decent considering the fact that not a drop of fuel is consumed. One interesting fact is that Volvo had gathered enough data from their research which shows that 90% people stay within 40km of their daily workplace, hence its possible to commute to work in pure electric. Using its 24-volt portable charger, it would take 7 hours to fully charged its 9.2 kWh Lithium-Ion battery, and 50% faster with the use of Volvo’s wall box charger.
The XC90 is probably one of the safest cars in Volvo model lineup. Of more than 100,000 units of the previous-gen XC90 sold in US, no one was killed or heavily injured in one. Volvo’s pursue for safety technology was reflected in a bold statement that says ‘No one is to be killed in and killed by a Volvo by 2020’. In order to improve its safety technology, Volvo engineers even work with hospitals to study injuries sustained by car accident victims. Its study shows that one third of accidents in Sweden happened with cars going off road and running into a ditch. Hence Volvo developed the world’s first ‘Run Off Road’ system that senses if one veered off the road and activates a series of mitigation system that reduces the impact and damage of the crash to its occupants. The XC90 is also equipped with City Safety package with front collision warning and full auto brake system. One of its feature is that the car would auto brake at intersections, an accident that happens to many drivers.
Priced locally at RM454k, the recently launched Swedish SUV hugely undercuts its German rivals in price while offering more performance, options, and safety. For those in the market for a family-friendly SUV, the new XC90 is a no brainer. The price will get lower still, when Volvo Malaysia locally assembles it in the near future, we will keep you posted when it becomes available. In the meantime, check out the full photo gallery below!