The Volvo XC90 gets a facelift...and Formula 1 technology

KERS in a big, seven-seat Swedish SUV? You’d better believe it
by Greg Potts | Feb 25, 2019
PHOTO: Volvo
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Ladies and gents, feast your eyes on the facelifted Volvo XC90. Looks pretty much exactly the same as the current one, doesn’t it? Given how much we love Volvo’s design language at the moment, though, that’s no bad thing at all.

Under the skin is where the biggest changes come. Volvo is introducing a new range of ‘B’-badged cars, of which a B5 (a bit powerful) and B6 (a bit more powerful) will be available in the seven-seat SUV. This moniker will refer to mild hybrids that utilize a new kinetic energy recovery system (aka KERS), using the energy usually lost in braking to help power an electric motor. Yes, it’s Formula 1 tech in a Volvo.

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As the Swedish company pushes to reach its electrification goals, the top-of-the-range T8 Twin Engine has also been upgraded to provide around 15% greater range—good news if you still require 400hp as you attempt to save the world.

This being Volvo, all recent safety developments from other models have been introduced to the XC90, and the infotainment system has also been given a boost so that it now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

And contrary to how it may seem at first glance, there have actually been some minor updates to the exterior of the big Swede. That front grille is fresh and there are new alloy wheels, while the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights remain untouched.

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Elsewhere there are two new paint colors with fantastically grandiose names. What do you think of the ‘Thunder Gray’ and the ‘Birch Light Metallic’ cars in the images here? The Thunder Gray XC90 is in more assertive R-Design trim in case you want to play spot the difference between the two.

All in all, it seems like there wasn’t too much to do for the engineers at the Torslanda factory, usually the sign of a properly good car. Indeed, the last XC90 survived 14 years on minor updates. Reckon, after four years on sale, this second one can do the same?

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Volvo
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