Move over the best German, and British, luxury cars. Move over a Mercedes-Benz, and if I may add a Bentley, a Rolls-Royce. This week Volvo Cars, the Swedish luxury car company, introduced in India the XC90 Excellence T8 Plug-in Hybrid in Lounge Configuration—long name for a car, but it has a long list of opulent features.
Being marketed as the ‘epitome of luxury for a select few’, the XC90 Excellence Lounge was first displayed as a concept at the 2015 Auto Shanghai and, interestingly, India is the first market in the world where it has been launched.
Developed on the XC90, which is a seven-seater SUV, the XC90 Excellence Lounge has just three seats—to make space for creature comforts of the highest order. This also makes it India’s only three-seater SUV. So, is its cabin more palatial than that of an S-Class or an X7?
First, the lounge configuration means there is a huge space for rear passengers (especially the one sitting on the left)—the front passenger seat has been removed to make space for a shoe rack—and space equates luxury. The rear passenger can also stretch legs fully, sinking into the Nappa leather seat that has ventilation and massage functions.
Second, the sound insulation of the cabin is of the highest order—allowing for a relaxed atmosphere.
Third, there are amenities such as folding leather-clad tray tables, refrigerator, crystal glasses with holder, and a foldable and integrated 13-inch iPad with Bowers & Wilkins headset.
Fourth, while the cabin has been completely reworked, the XC90 Excellence Lounge is essentially a XC90 T8 Excellence under the body. So, it is a plug-in hybrid and can be driven for up to 40km entirely on electric motor in a single charge of the battery. Thereafter, the car automatically changes over to a hybrid mode (petrol engine plus electric motor). The engine has three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power, and is a 2.0-litre petrol unit with a 65kW electric motor (collective 408bhp and 640Nm). The claimed 0-100kph acceleration time is 5.6 seconds.
Also, all technology-laden features of the XC90 T8 Excellence—such as adaptive cruise control, pilot assist, 360-degree camera, collision mitigation support—remain in the XC90 Excellence Lounge. Priced Rs 1.42 crore—in almost the same range as that of the S-Class—the XC90 Excellence Lounge is available as an ultra-limited edition in India; the company said it expects sales of 15 units over the next few months.