Road Test: Volvo S90 T8
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.