The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Inscription has been named Premium SUV of the Year by influential motoring website, Cars.co.za.
Awarded at a glittering function on the evening of 19 January, the accolade comes as the XC90’s second in a row after the XC90 D5 Inscription took the same award in 2016.
The Cars.co.za Consumer Awards are judged by an experienced panel of prominent journalists who this year put all finalists through their paces at the famous Gerotek testing grounds near Pretoria – but their votes are not the only deciding factors. Importantly, consumer feedback also plays a large role, making the award for Premium SUV of the Year even more meaningful. The awards are given to those vehicles which represent the best buys in their categories in South Africa, influenced by real, credible consumer input.
Received by Michelle Naudé, Director of Marketing and Communications at Volvo Car South Africa, the latest trophy is being added to a long list of local and global awards for the Volvo XC90. “We are absolutely thrilled that the XC90 has taken this increasingly important accolade for the second year in a row,” comments Naudé.
Cars.co.za says that in order to have been eligible for the Premium SUV category, contenders had to meet the following criteria: a list price of between R750 000 and R1 200 000 at the time of semi-finalist voting (01 September 2016) and they had to be large SUVs with all-wheel drive as a standard feature. The most important judging factors were powertrain technology, luxury features, brand strength, design and quality appeal, driving dynamics, space and practicality.
“To date, the XC90 has received over 120 awards globally, which makes it one of the most awarded cars in history,” elaborates Naudé. “We are exceptionally proud of our flagship SUV, which is still the reigning WesBank/SAGMJ Car of the Year in South Africa. We launched the XC90 locally in 2015 as the first in a wave of brand-new Volvo cars in South Africa and it has continued to garner acclaim and attention from all angles.
“It continues to set the tone for all our future products – the next of which is the new Volvo S90, which launches within a week of this award. We look forward to our new flagship sedan also standing proud amongst its peers as a truly noteworthy vehicle in South Africa.”
A Revolutionary New Luxurious Seven-Seat SUV
The all-wheel drive XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is, as its name suggests, powered by two engines. A conventional internal combustion setup is employed up front, with the award-winning 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo- and supercharged Volvo Drive-E petrol engine powering the front wheels, providing 235 kW and 400 Nm via Volvo’s 8-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox.
The rear wheels are powered by the Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) system, which sees an electric motor fed by a 9.2 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack for an additional and on-demand 65 kW and 240 Nm. It not only integrates seamlessly with the internal combustion engine, but also bestows the XC90 T8 Twin Engine with a pure-electric range of up to 43 km.
The XC90 T8 Twin Engine can be charged at any earthed, two-pin Schuko-type power outlet in South Africa, without the need for a costly charging station to be installed at the owner’s home or office. Should it be required, a Schuko adapter can be easily installed at very low cost by any certified electrician.
“With the new XC90 T8 Twin Engine we are rewriting what is possible for plug-in hybrid vehicles,” says Volvo Car South Africa Managing Director, Greg Maruszewski.
“Combining electric power and our turbo- and supercharged Drive-E powertrain with ultimate seven-seat SUV practicality and comfort, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine exudes class, sophistication and Swedish luxury while providing incomparable levels of fuel economy and ultra-low carbon emissions. Built on our Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, its full seven-seat configuration has been retained with no real impact on passenger or luggage space, while the power available from its petrol and electric engines bestows it with exceptional performance and efficiency.”
With its two engines, total power output is 300 kW, with 640 Nm of torque on hand – yet average combined-cycle fuel economy is as low as 2.1-litres per 100 km. Carbon emissions are just 49 g/km.
Exclusively available in the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, a specialised instrument readout relays information pertaining to battery level, power usage, and the balance between electric and petrol power. A battery charge indicator lies alongside the traditional fuel gauge, with electric range on display as well. Then, a classy power gauge replaces the conventional rev counter, showing current power usage for both the electric and petrol engines, the ‘change-over point’ at which the petrol engine will be activated, and the current drive mode. In Power, AWD and Off-road modes, this dial is converted into a rev counter.