However, a quick chat with a source at Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) revealed that prices and specifications haven't been finalised just yet, and that acceptance of orders for the all-new SUV model are purely an initiative of eager dealerships filled with excitement of the coming car.
Based on what we understand, a Malaysian-spec range is likely to include the brand’s T8 Drive-E plug-in hybrid powertrain, which combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with turbocharging, supercharging and plug-in hybrid power, to produce 400hp and 640Nm of torque.
We remember Managing Director of Volvo Car Malaysia, Keith Schafer, suggesting the idea at a special press conference organised by Volvo Car Malaysia some eight months ago, when he said “Why shouldn’t Malaysians be given the chance to own the best model? It is our job to ensure that our customers get the best car and we will try our best to do that. I think Malaysians deserve to have the best.”
On when the all-new XC90 will get here, Schafer had then provided us a timeline of somewhere near August 2015, and VCM are still trying to keep to their plans, but have made it clear to us that a more definitive answer at this point will be a launch somewhere in the second half of the year.
Also revealed during the press conference held eight months ago was the expected arrival time of the CKD variants, sometime in 2016, which will be introduced after an initial batch of CBU units have been sold.
However, it remains unclear at this point if or not the locally-assembled versions of the XC90 T8 hybrid will receive the current incentives offered by the government for such vehicles - don't forget, NAP 2014 expires at the end of this year, and with it, the excise duty exemptions for locally-assembled hybrids. So too will it expire for other cars like the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, unless of course local authorities decide to carry forward these terms.
Being on the receiving end of the current excise duty and import tax matters especially here for potential XC90 customers because unlike the previous XC90 which sold in Malaysia for around RM355k, the all-new model is expected to be priced higher than before, given the new vehicle's push further upmarket to become an even more premium SUV.
Two variants that appear to be offered as shown on Volvo Car Malaysia’s official website are the Inscription and R-Design, but again, we understand from Volvo Car Malaysia that this is purely a preliminary reveal which doesn't in any way reflect the specifications prepared for our vehicle.