Road Test: Volvo S90 T8

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Volvo’s luxury saloon gains plug-in hybrid power, finds Jonathan Musk.

SECTOR Upper large   PRICE €68,250-€72,750   FUEL 1.9l/100km   CO2 44g/km   ELECTRIC RANGE 45km (NEDC)

The S90 is available with diesel D4, D5 or the petrol plug-in hybrid T8. The latter offers more than 400hp and greater torque than a Nissan GTR. Sadly, the chassis doesn’t offer handling to match, but that’s not really the point of the S90 – its electric mode is what shines, providing around 35 real world kilometres (45km official) of silent cruising.

However, its fuel-sipping qualities are what will attract business customers: the T8 puffs out just 44g/km, which compares to the diesel D3’s 115g/km.

The T8 comes with a hefty €68,250 price tag, although it could be seen as a relative bargain considering its performance potential. But that does come with its drawbacks and real-world fuel consumption is a distance away from the official combined 1.9l/100km figure. In practice, 5.8l/100km was easy to achieve over the course of a week.

Volvo’s newest cars incorporate a high level of standard equipment when compared to rivals, which Volvo says helps justify their at-initial-glance high asking price. Standard features include numerous safety options and Volvo’s clever semi-autonomous Pilot Assist is also standard, offering lane keep assist technology combined with radar-powered adaptive cruise control.

The central 9-inch touchscreen is a joy to use and incorporates Android Auto, Apple Carplay and a raft of driver options including chassis and engine setup preferences. There are three main trim options, Momentum, R-Design and Inscription that each offer enhanced levels of luxury or sport-trim as desired.

Overall, the S90 is a wondrous thing. It has a certain timeless elegance about it, while the cossetting interior is a place many happy hours can be spent in total comfort. And despite the T8’s over-tuned petrol unit, the electric motor manages to balance the experience enough to create a surreal and practical plug-in hybrid.

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.