Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine R-Design – Behold the Beauty

I never quite got to grips with the older 'Boxy’ XC90, so when Volvo announced that they were going for a bold new move on updating the old model, I was a little worried that it would be
Volvo XC90 R-Design

I never quite got to grips with the older ‘Boxy’ XC90, so when Volvo announced that they were going for a bold new move on updating the old model, I was a little worried that it would be no more than some new door handles and a new lighting system.

When I first got a glimpse of the new XC90, I was actually jumping for joy because Volvo had made good on all its promises of producing something bold and new. What you now see before you is something that I can only describe as a thing of beauty that will have you basking in all its beauty for some time to come.

People used to think that owning a Volvo was boring or just for people on pensions, but you would be wrong. Owning a Volvo is now classed as being cool and hip, and many people are now seeing the error of their ways. They‘re now like a cruise missile locked onto a path to their nearest Volvo dealer.

The Exterior

The new XC90 is a car that stands out from what everybody else is driving around you. It is very futuristic looking, but it does keep some of the standard Volvo appearances that I loved so much about the older model, such as being Big and Bold.


Slipping inside, it is a real pleasure to behold. It’s well equipped and has some very nice touches around the centre console. To be honest, sitting in here is like sitting in the Royal Suite at The Goring where everything you will ever need is just a button push or arm’s reach away. Volvo has done the most brilliant job of making you feel like it was made just for you.

Standard equipment on the New XC90 starts with a nine-inch centre console touch screen, and Sensus Navigation withfull European mapping, traffic information and lifetime map updates. There is Volvo On Call function that also acts as an emergency and tracking service, LED headlights with Active Beam, two-zone climate control with ‘CleanZone’ air quality system, power operated tailgate with handsfree opening, keyless entry and start, power drivers seat, and heated front seats. City Safety includes Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection and Front Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, including at junctions and Run-off-Road Protection. As you can see, that’s just the start of the features. There are also additional option packs you can add in to create even more luxury such as Xenium, Winter and Family.

Space inside the cabin is a big plus point for the XC90. It has plenty of room for everyone. Boot space is brilliant and even better with its split folding seats. There is more than enough space in here for your entire family. Even with the use of the seven seats, there is still enough room for a few bags and whatever else you can throw back there, which is not like some seven seat cars I have come across in the past where you see the third row passengers faces being contorted against the glass in the rear window due to lack of rear seating space.

On the road

The XC90 is comfortable and is agile enough to keep up with the demands of a heavy foot. Gratned, you don’t drive around in a luxury XC90 with your hair on fire—you simply glide. If you do decide to push the car a bit ‘gung ho’ down a smooth country lane or even around some twisty curves, you will find it’s very smooth with just a hint of body roll here and there.

The T8 can be run just on the electric motor alone and by using just this function. It will provide you with an average range of about 24 miles. However, because I’m a petrol head, I used a combination of the two and decided to let the cars computer switch between the 320 horsepower petrol engine which drives the front wheels and the large 87 hp single electric motor that drives the rear axle. Also, while we are at it, the XC90 can generate electricity under braking which will all help in recharging the system to gain a few extra miles.

Power and Performance

Performance is a key part of the XC90 T8. Volvo claims a 5.6 second zero-to-62 mile-per-hour time, and I would agree with that because it feels immense and when you think about it. That’s Porsche beating territory. Also if you own a Ferrari, I would think twice about a race from the lights to 60 mph. But remember the XC90 comes in at around 2,300 kilograms, so it won’t keep up for long.

If you are a person who only lives 15 miles from where you work, then you could in all possibility effectively run it entirely on electricity alone by charging it from a mains supply. But of course in the UK will are still finding our feet in the new age of hybrid technology and finding a charge station when you live in a remote village somewhere in North Wales will be quite difficult.

If I was you, I would opt for the ‘Hybrid’ mode setting as this allows you to use the best of both worlds. (I did for most of the time).


Well let’s just say it’s a Volvo and it has you covered. No worries here then.

Would I buy one? A big fat YES, but I can’t afford one. But as a man, I really, really, really do want one of my own.

Volvo XC90 – T8 Twin Engine R-Design

Price: £70,875 Model as tested, including fitted options

Top Speed: 140 mph

0-62 mph: 5.6 sec

Economy: 134.5 mpg (combined) emissions g/km (49)

Engine: 1969 cc

Power: 320 hp at 5,700 rpm

Torque: 400 Nm at 2,200 rpm – 5,400 rpm

Electric Motor Power: 87 hp & 240 Nm of Torque

Gearbox: Eight-speed Automatic

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Nick Cvetkovic