The 2015 Volvo XC90 is significant not only because it replaces a model that’s more than a decade old, but because it represents the first of many new models to be built off the company’s new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA). The new platform will underpin all of the company’s vehicles, from the midsize 60-series models and larger. It is designed to accommodate a variety of powertrains, from gasoline, diesel, and plug-in hybrid configurations.
Because these variables were baked-in to the design rather than an afterthought, there is no sacrifice in passenger or cargo space in the forthcoming XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid model. Although certain not to be the last, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine will be the first seven-passenger plug-in hybrid SUV sold in the U.S.
The two engines announced for the U.S.-spec XC90 are both variations on the new modular 2.0L turbocharged I-4 engine. The bread-and-butter powerplant will be the twin-charged supercharged and turbocharged engine making 316 hp, with the T8 Twin Engine adding electric motors to bring the total to a robust 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.
Volvo also teased one of the new XC90’s signature styling elements, the “Thor’s Hammer” LED running lights, which promise to give the company’s new flagship SUV a distinctive rearview-mirror signature.