Volvo hybrid thinks

for itself

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, side
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, front
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, rear, action
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, apps
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, rear
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, interior

IF you buy one of Volvo's new XC90 models you will never have to worry about missing a service on your car again.

The latest generation of the popular seven-seater SUV not only tells you in good time when it needs a service - but it actually contacts your local dealer and books itself in.

And that's only one feature on a car that's packed from headlights to tail lights with state of the art high tech goodies.

The first models in the XC90 family went on sale in 2015 but now there's a new addition in the form of the range-topping T8 twin engine plug-in hybrid.

This is a car which will not only keep your fuel bills down and allow you to boast about your non-polluting green credentials but will also put a smile on the face of your company accountant if it's bought as a company car.

Because the emissions are so low at 49g/km the car qualifies for a 100 per cent first year allowance, so the entire cost of purchase can be written off in the first year of ownership.

And if you think petrol-electric hybrids are on the slow side this one will soon change your mind as it whisks you effortlessly and silently to 62 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 140.

The T8 is available in three different spec levels with list prices starting from £59,850 for the entry-level Momentum trim, although from March 1, 2016 this model qualifies for a £2,500 grant, reducing the on-the-road price to £57,955.

The car is powered by a 2.0-litre, 320bhp turbocharged and supercharged petrol V6 engine which drives the front wheels and an 87bhp electric motor which drives the rear wheels.

And thanks to an on-board generator four-wheel-drive is available permanently, even when the batteries are running low.

The car can be driven for 27 miles on electric power alone, enough for most people's daily commute, although under normal driving conditions the battery will last much longer than that because the engine and electric motor will be working in tandem.

If you are doing a motorway journey and want to save electric power until you are back in a town or city you can drive the car quite happily on the engine alone by putting the car into "save" mode.

The 400 volt lithium-ion battery can be fully charged using a standard three pin plug in three and a half hours at 10 amps or two and a half hours using an optional 16-amp fast charge cable.

Whichever spec level you opt for all T8 models come with enhanced specification compared to petrol and diesel XC90 models.

Extra features include a powered tilt and slide panoramic glass sunroof, third row air conditioning, four-zone climate control and a fuel fired heater allowing you to warm up the interior before your journey.

Like the latest petrol and diesel XC90 models the T8 has a built-in car modem, turning the car into a WiFi hotspot so all passengers can connect their mobile devices via the car.

There's a nine-inch touch screen which works like a tablet and controls a wide variety of both car and internet functions, dramatically reducing the number of buttons and switches on the dashboard.

And being a Volvo it's packed to the gunnels with safety features. In fact the company says this is the safest Volvo ever built.

On the road the T8 is a real-tour-de force with dynamic acceleration which really does throw you back in your seat if you put your right foot down hard.

The ride is exemplary and the interior so quiet it's sometimes difficult to be sure whether the petrol engine has cut in or whether you are driving on pure electric power.

Despite its size the XC90 is agile and easy to handle with pin sharp steering and - despite its height - no sign of any body roll.

Passengers in the second row can stretch their legs out fully and even the third row seats are designed for adults and not - like some of its competitors - just for children.

Volvo in the UK is ridding the crest of the wave at the moment having sold 43,432 in 2015 - its best sales figure in 21 years - and global sales are up eight per cent.

And while the XC90 T8 Twin Engine is somewhat of a niche product there is little doubt it will exceed expectations to boost sales even more.

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