Volvo’s New Design – Speaking to the Heart of the Enthusiast

I really like Volvo. The new Volvo in general. The design language of the S90, V90, XC90 and XC60 is just excellent – the clean, minimalist lines, the beautifully designed interior, the drivetrains and the economy. The biggest and most expensive car (that also has the most power) is one of the most efficient cars they make. It’s brilliant! I have not had the pleasure of seeing the S90 or V90 in the metal, but I have seen the XC90 countless times. The other day I also saw the new XC60 for the first time and I have to say, it is prettier than the XC90. The new XC40 crossover thing also looks good, especially since it’s geared towards younger customers as the newer V40 was. It brings a fresh perspective on Volvos and I really quite like that.

Volvo has always been like Honda and Cadillac – made for the older folk who are not concerned with the power output, but rather the plushness of the seats. These days, Volvo, Honda and Cadillac have been designing their cars for the younger generation. Volvos have become really quick, Honda is breaking the Nurburgring record and even Cadillac makes 600 horsepower super-saloons – and this is without any aftermarket tuning.

Honestly, I have said for a while now that if you wanted to buy a car that could do everything – from efficiency, speed to practicality and to use as a daily driver, you had a choice between the Golf GTi, Range Rover SDV8 or Volvo V90 Cross Country. All of them offer good bang for their buck (admittedly the RR is quite a bit more expensive than the rest).

But in recent weeks, I have decided to add the XC90 T8 to this list, which means that there are two cars on the ‘Best car in the world (which can do a bunch of things well)’ list. If I could, I’d add the S90 as well, because of all the modern executive mid-range saloons, it is arguably the best looking, even prettier than the Jaguar XF. I just wish Volvo would create a version of their cars to go up against the likes of the X5M and M5. But it is highly unlikely since Polestar, the company that made exclusive, fast, blue Volvos, have begun their own thing. They even have a first car called the Polestar 1 which, for lack of a better description, is an S90 coupe. The only problem I have with it is that the back end seems a bit too short. Not that it matters much as it has a 2.0L Turbo hybrid system like the XC90 T8, but where the XC90 only produces 300-odd kilowatt, the 1 produces close to 450KW. Polestar has also said that the Polestar 2 will be either the XC60 or XC90 remake, so that should be interesting.

Now where am I going to find a million Rand ($80 000)..?

All the Car You’ll Ever Need

So in at the end in the Top Gear Mag (December 2017), there is the list of the vehicles available in SA. When you get to Land Rover, you will spot something rather interesting… Back to the list in a bit.

For the past two or so years, I have been saying that the best cars you can buy are either a VW Golf GTi or a Range Rover TDV8. They offer speed, comfort, luxury, practicality and efficiency in all that they do (I added the Volvo V90 Cross Country and XC90 T8 as well as they do the same thing).

Granted, these options are only valid when you have some cash to play around with.

Now, in the Land Rover section, you will notice that in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport lists, there is a P400e option. I Googled about quickly and found out that it is in fact a plug-in hybrid with a 2.0L Turbo and electric motors. It has a combined power output of nearly 300KW and 650NM (which is plenty) whilst only doing around 3L/100KM. IN A RANGE ROVER?!

I am extremely surprised. Buy that and it is all the car you will ever need. It’s comfortable, practical, luxurious, can go fast and has a range of 50km on electric only, meaning that you can drive to a mall and back without using fuel (or you could drive about in London without paying congestion charges). Although, you will need to have R2.1m or R2.6m (for the Autobiography) in your bank account (or more for extras)… If not, ignore what I just said and buy a second-hand X540d…