In case you weren’t aware with the full-on media onslaught, Volvo has officially unveiled the exterior and a bunch of details for the 2016 XC90. The next generation of the crossover is a big deal for the Swedes as it marks a new direction for the company in so many ways. The new model is also a big deal for another reason since it will be the only plug-in hybrid vehicle in the world that will come with seven seats.
There are right now people who would love to purchase a plug-in hybrid, but the Toyota Prius or other models are simply too small to accommodate their needs. Of course, to get the plug-in hybrid powertrain on the XC90, it will require buyers to go with the top-of-the-line version. The powertrain will still have the four-cylinder gasoline engine that is turbocharged and supercharged, plus an electric motor that powers the rear wheels. The setup will make the XC90 the most advanced hybrid vehicle on the market.
This means that soccer moms all over will be able to transport their kiddos to games without burning any gas or making much noise at all. If successful, Volvo will prove that consumers really do want larger plug-in hybrids, a point that some have doubted for the past few years.
One of the big questions is just how much space will be available on the third row of seating, considering that many crossover have a laughable amount of legroom in the most rearward seating area. Volvo claims there will be enough space to accommodate passengers who are up to 5’7″ tall, which covers most children and even a fair amount of adults.
For now, consumers who want to get their hands on a plug-in three-row crossover will have to wait. Volvo is releasing that version of the XC90 near the end of 2015, while the non-hybrid models launch in April of 2015.