The second-generation Volvo XC90 created quite a storm in Malaysia when it was launched locally last year. Globally, it was one of Volvo’s most important models – replacing one of its all-time best-sellers and also playing the role of being the first vehicle to usher in the new generation of SPA platform-based vehicles sporting the firm’s all-new styling language.
Positive international press coverage had already made it one of the most anticipated launches of 2015, but Volvo blew the floor away when it was announced that Malaysian buyers will be getting nothing less than the range-topping T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variant.
Clincher, however, was the jaw-dropping price. Rewarding Volvo’s commitment to assemble this highly-advanced vehicle locally, the Malaysian Government exempted the first shipment of 100 CBU vehicles from taxes, allowing it to hit the road at RM453,888 with insurance. The allocation was fully sold out in no time, and subsequent buyers have been made to wait for the introduction of CKD units.
The wait of these buyers are about to end soon, however, as Volvo Car Malaysia has officially announced the price and specifications of the locally-assembled XC90 T8 Twin Engine, that is set to commence deliveries in July.
From the CBU model, the XC90 T8 CKD comes with no change in trim or mechanical specification, save for one minor running change detail – the incorporation of gradient-sensing in the car’s security system.
Most important change takes place on the price list, where a RM50k reduction sees the XC90 T8 now hitting the road at just RM403,888 without insurance. Putting this price into perspective, the Audi Q7 retails at RM590k, whilst the BMW X5 ranges between RM534k and RM574k. We expect, however, that the soon-to-come X5 xDrive40e will match the Volvo much closer in pricing.
To recap, the XC90 T8 is powered by a 2.0-litre twincharged petrol engine which, in combination with a sophisticated hybrid system, creates net system outputs of 407hp and 640Nm, enabling this 2.3-tonne SUV to hit call up 100km/h from rest in just 5.6 seconds whilst emitting 49 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled on the European test cycle. On a full charge of its traction batteries, the XC90 T8 has an estimated electric power-only cruising range of 40km. Read our review of the XC90 T8 here.
Commencement of the XC90 T8’s local-assembly programme is aptly timed coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Volvo Car Manufacturing Malaysia’s Shah Alam plant (formerly known as Swedish Motor Assemblies). The plant is the oldest automotive assembly plant in the country and is used by Volvo to export vehicles to neighbouring countries.
The XC90 T8 is the first plug-in hybrid vehicle to be locally-assembled in Malaysia, which also becomes the first country outside Sweden to host a production site for this vehicle. The investments made by Volvo on its Shah Alam plant to improve its existing infrastructure and capabilities will undoubtedly ease the introduction of future SPA-based models from the company.