• Plug-in hybrid version develops 400 hp
  • Conventional gasoline 4-cylinder engine also available
  • Arrives later this year

Look for more power and better efficiency from Volvo's 7-passenger SUV when the newest model arrives later this year. The completely redesigned Volvo XC90 will offer a plug-in hybrid system capable of developing 400 horsepower. It will also provide drivers with about 25 miles of zero-emission, electric-only driving range.

The base engine for U.S. XC90 buyers will be the conventional gasoline T6. Part of Volvo's Drive-E engine line, it's another upgrade that's considerably more powerful than the 240-hp 6-cylinder in the current XC90.

The top-of-the-range XC90 T8 Twin Engine powers the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid. A gasoline engine drives the front wheels, and an 80-hp electric motor drives the rear wheels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine uses both a supercharger and a turbocharger for impressive torque and hp at both low and high engine speeds. At 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, the combined output of the hybrid system is similar to the output of a conventional V8 engine.

Batteries situated in the center of the vehicle can be charged using an electric-vehicle charger and can also store energy recovered during braking. Volvo says that the XC90 T8 sacrifices no passenger or cargo space to accommodate its batteries or other hybrid equipment.

The supercharged and turbocharged four can also be had on its own without the hybrid setup. Called the T6, this engine makes 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

No fuel economy estimates are available yet for either version of the new XC90, but Volvo expects excellent efficiency. With the T6, for example, Volvo says the new XC90 will bring a combination of power and fuel economy that will rival even diesel-powered competitors.

The look of the next-generation Volvo XC90 remains officially under wraps, at least in terms of exterior styling, but Volvo has revealed an elegant and high-tech interior design for the new SUV. The latest announcement concerning the new, more powerful and efficient engine choices paints a more complete picture. We expect a full reveal soon, prior to the official model launch scheduled for later this year.

What it means to you: The next Volvo XC90 will be better poised to compete with big-engine SUV models from brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, thanks to a powerful yet efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Find a Volvo XC90 for sale

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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