THAT suave Swede SUV the Volvo XC90, which caused a major heads-up in its market sector on launch has driven in with a technological tour-de force.
The new T8 Twin Engine is a highly tax-efficient plug-in petrol hybrid which offers business owners and company car drivers a very attractive combination of luxury, economy and tax-efficiency.
With its seven-seat capacity it also has a distinct pull on the larger family market.
With CO2 emissions of just 49 g/km, giving a BIK figure of just five per cent the Twin Engine, is positioned to bring in thousands in Corporation Tax relief.
This means that if a T8 Twin Engine Momentum model was bought for £57,350 this year a company could benefit in up to £11,470 off their tax bills.
Because it is so environmentally friendly the model benefits from a range of financial advantages.
This includes a £2,500 Plug in Car grant on the Momentum model.
The vehicle itself is, as its name suggests, powered by two engines, a front-mounted 320hp/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine and a rear-mounted 87hp/240Nm electric motor.
It gives an extraordinary mix of performance and economy, with a combined power output of 407bhp, while maximum torque is 640Nm. Top speed is 140mph and 0-62mph acceleration takes only 5.6 seconds.
Despite such robust performance, combined fuel economy can be as much as 134.5mpg.
This really is an all-singing, all-dancing SUV with a raft of mind-boggling technological and safety features as would be expected from Volvo, a marque with once feared for its very existence after it was dropped from the Ford fold.
But after coming under Chinese ownership it has seen a steady rise in its fortunes and last year's sales figures of 43,432 were its best for 21 years.
The new XC90 Twin Engine is the latest step and a very big one in Volvo's drive to new fortunes.
With its no-nonsense, hefty, bluff-nosed road stance it has power-dressing aplenty but it is not without breathtakingly tasteful touches, including an Orrefors crystal transmission-shift selector which is very Scandinavian.
As with any Volvo, it is solid and extremely safe, brimming with features such as safety automatic braking.
It is a car of huge significance for Volvo, being the first in an entirely new product range developed using the all-new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and solely using Drive-E powertrains.
Both the platform and powertrains are engineered in Sweden, designed and manufactured entirely by Volvo, for Volvo, marking a new era of technological independence.
It features the latest technology with an intuitive interface. The new HMI (Human Machine Interface) is class leading, thanks to a brand-new nine-inch central display touchscreen combined with an intelligent voice-control system
It offers unparalleled connectivity in its class, with access to a wide range of cloud-based apps via the standard built-in car modem (an optional SIM card with a mobile data allowance can also be utilised). You can use this Internet connection to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, so passengers can connect their mobile devices via the car.
Apple CarPlay is allows selected functionality of an Apple device and its apps via voice control, the touchscreen or the buttons on the steering wheel.
It not only informs the driver when a service is due, but can actually book itself in to the nearest Volvo dealership.
It is the safest Volvo ever built, and offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package in the car industry. It also features two world-first safety technologies - Run-off Road Protection and Auto Brake at Junctions - which are all part of Volvo's advanced suite of intelligent safety systems.
There is also a setting on the transmission that offers enhanced braking when negotiating steep hills or towing a heavy load.
The rear-most seats are big enough for anyone up to 5ft 7ins tall. This is rare for seven-seat SUVs, MPVs or estates, where the rear seats are often for children only.
The Twin Engine offers a variety of power options including Pure for electric power, Hybrid, to utilise both power units, Power, for enhanced performance, AWD for extra grip and Save to hang on to the battery capacity for when you need it.
The T8 Twin Engine can be driven for up to 27 miles on electric power alone.