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We caught up with the Market Area Director of Asia Pacific for the Volvo Car Group to get a better look at the new XC90 and the brand's plans.

18 Aug 2015

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Marking the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo's history, the second generation XC90 captures the brand's future design direction, incorporates its own range of new technologies and utilises its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.

Our writer listening intently as Chris explains why the new XC90 is such a big thing for the brand
We had a chance to get up close to Christopher Wailes (CW), Market Area Director of Asia Pacific for Volvo Car Group, to find out more about the new car and the Swedish car manufacturer's future plans.

SGCM: Is there a reason why the XC90 was chosen as the first model to be built on the new SPA platform? Or was it merely a coincidence?

CW: There is no particular reason why but one thing the SPA platform does for us is that it is very adaptable and you can have many configurations for a car - coupe, sedan, SUV, etc. With the lifecycle of the old XC90, it was way over of course thus we decided the XC90 will be the first to go on the platform.

SGCM: The Volvo T8 twin engine is quite a stunning engine on paper. Will we see it in action in any other cars in the future or is it exclusively used just for the XC90?

CW: We started with the twin engine journey three years ago and Volvo was the first car manufacturer to offer a diesel plug-in hybrid with the V60. With the T8 twin engine, we now have unlimited opportunities to combine any engine with the plug-in hybrid system. I can't go into further detail, but all I can say is all the petrol and diesel engines have been designed with electrification in mind.

SGCM: If you had to choose an engine variant for the XC90, which one would you think suits the car best in the real world - the D5 diesel, the T6 or the T8 hybrid?

CW: If I focus on Singapore, what I can say is it could be any of the three engines and I will explain why. If I do a lot of kilometres, then the D5 diesel will obviously be a very good choice because I will get more fuel economy.

However, if I'm travelling to work in the city and do around a 40km-a-day commute, then I would pick the T8 for a very simple reason - I can drive to and from work without having to use any fuel at all, just pure electricity. Ultimately, it depends on the driver and what he is going to use the car for as that will determine the ideal engine choice.

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