Volvo Unveils XC90 Plug-In Hybrid At 2014 LA Auto Show, On Sale In Less Than 6 Months

DEC 5 2014 BY MARK KANE 26

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

At the 2014 LA Auto Show, Volvo unveiled for the very first time in the US a 7-seat AWD premium SUV – XC90 Plug-In Hybrid, which is scheduled for sales nationwide starting in the first half of 2015. Price still remains unknown.

With roughly up to 40 km (25 miles) of all-electric range, 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque this SUV could be an interesting proposition (0 to 60 MPH times below 6 seconds). From almost 300 kW of power in total, 60 kW comes from the rear electric motor.

By presenting XC90, Volvo announced that it will stay in the US (despite a 10-year trend of falling sales).  Additionally, Volvo says it’ll expand from current 60,000 to 100,000 annual sales in the mid-term.

Currently there are no plug-in SUVs on the market, so with Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid, Tesla Model X, and maybe finally Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, this segment will soon start to take off.

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26 Comments on "Volvo Unveils XC90 Plug-In Hybrid At 2014 LA Auto Show, On Sale In Less Than 6 Months"

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Finally. I’m glad Volvo is offering this. Regarding your last paragraph, the Porsche Cayenne now offered as a PHEV. It launched in the US this month.

I would hardly consider the Cayenne a SUV. And if you’re going to pick one then the Kia Soul is more SUV-ish.

Anyway neither of those two are remotely close to the XC90 in that segment.

Considering that the previous gen XC90 and the cayenne were basically identical in external dimensions, it’s totally reasonable to draw the comparison, even if the new XC90 got a bit bigger.

If the Model X is an SUV then so is the Cayenne. None of them are anything like the 87 4Runner I had, which was an SUV.

The Soul doesn’t even offer 4WD, so not an SUV.

Maybe you’re right. I don’t know what is what anymore with all the different definitions. 😛

What will it cost?

Probably somewhere around $75k.

Actually no, $49-$52k. It is an amazingly good SUV. I don’t usually go for SUVs. But I’ve fallen for this one.

If they sell this for $50k, with full US availability, they will not be able to build enough.

The base T6 starts at $48k so unfortunately there’s no way the top of the line T8 PHEV will start at the same price.

Canadian pricing is $60,700 for the T6 and $73,400 for the T8 PHEV.

I like the new front of the Volvo. It’s cocky, yet cool. From the side it has some 80’s/early 90’s feel to it but got a nice finish. The back is just duh, not bad but feels a little outdated.

The Plug-in part of it seems like an afterthought for a hybrid, but that’s not really a criticism since there is nothing remotely like it here.

Gm could have addressed this market with a plugin version of their Escalade Hybrid, but, at $75,000 you’ll see a lot of these.. 25 mile range is parsimonious, but again, there is nothing better offered for sale here as of yet.

Not at all. It’s on Volvo’s new SPA platform with the direct intent of electrification. And that new platform (+a smaller new platform for the 40-series) is why every Volvo model will come with be available with a plug in 2017.

European car companies don’t really do traditional hybrids since making a diesel is less costly and more efficient anyway.

But I do agree with hopefully added range coming later. But 25 miles will hopefully cut the commuting emissions to a bare minimum for most.

Also, the price differential between diesel and gas is not as crazy as the US (where I live Diesel is a $0.75 premium to regular), vs. a discount in Europe…

This will compete directly with the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 from what I’ve seen so far this is better than the Cayenne. The Cayenne offered worse performance than its ICE counterpart with minimal 14 mile AER, at a pretty big price premium. This has acceptable specs compared to its ICE counterpart, acceptable AER. Thus it’ll all depend on the price. I’m guessing it’ll hit that ubiquitous $75k number. A Volvo SUV PHEV at $50k would become the #1 selling car in America. Not. Gonna. Happen. It’ll be interesting to see the X5 specs and pricing. The Outlander PHEV will likely come in at $45k to $52.5k, and will thus far outsell all the above IF they ever get the thing to the US market. The Outlander PHEV could be the best selling EV in the market in 2016, if Mitsubishi doesn’t mess it up. The Model X will also outsell the X5 Cayenne and XC90. Its in a league of its own as the only BEV in the bunch. But its price and constant delays will hold it back a little. End 2015 is shaping up to be a good year for EVs.


60 kW was all they could muster for a mid-size heavy SUV?! My toothbrush has a stronger motor than that! 😉

Rather 300 kW. And I doubt your toothbrush can muster that. 😉

My toothbrush does not run on fossil fuels 😛

I don’t care about the gasoline engine. Make a serious EV, it’s no longer 2008.

It’s very likely that your toothbrush runs at least partly on fossil fuels (remember electricity is just an energy carrier, not a fuel).

Even though this is 2014 and Volvo is ahead of basically every traditional car manufacturer in electrification it will be a good day when the general solution will be to have the electric motor being the most powerful one in the cars.

And while the transition goes we’ll need to add biofuels that we can use in existing cars.

Both the Volt and the i3 REx have more powerful electric motors than their petrol engines, so it is quite doable. Don’t want ICE regardless of the fuel.

75 horsepower for a toothbrush? Must be the ‘economy sized’ model for Godzilla.

People really worry too much about horsepower.

I saw a really cute VW Bug conversion at Drive Electric 2014 Rochester, that had a 6 1/2 horsepower series-wound DC motor in it and it ran just fine. Top speed was 35-40 mph.

My VW bug (a 1964 Model) had the new, huge 40 hp engine, replacing a 36 , which in turn replaced a 25 hp, and those were liberal figures in the first place.

25 miles ev range for an above 60000 $ price, that is even worse then the low 38 miles ev range for 40000 $ of the Volt.
They are like Mitsubishi missing the point of having an ev proposal with an additional thermal APU for further range instead of a stupid electrical boost on an as usual thermal engine.
It is now time to stop this hypocrisy, we need pure ev or ev with APU not thermal cars with a green washing ev add on.
We need a hole variety of Tesla, leaf and i3 alike not PiP alike.

“that is even worse then the low 38 miles ev range for 40000 $ of the Volt.”

Uh, the Volt base MSRP is $34,345. And the next gen Volt which will be going on sale around the same time as the Volvo will have a greater AER. Probably 45-50 miles AER which makes the Volvo tech look even less impressive.

But to your point in a few years the first generation of more affordable 150-200 mile EVs will be coming out so the concept of an EV with a range extender will have fewer and fewer driving scenarios that an EV won’t be able to match.

Whether you like it or not, people buy bigass high-power SUVs, and they get awful fuel economy.

Getting even a mere 7000 miles a year on electricity is a huge reduction in fuel consumption for these vehicles.