The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) tradeshow got underway in Las Vegas this week. Leading the Volvo attack is the fearsome V8-powered XC90 Power Utility Vehicle.

The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) tradeshow got underway in Las Vegas this week. Leading the Volvo attack is the fearsome V8-powered XC90 Power Utility Vehicle.

The most powerful XC90 yet was unveiled at the Paris show in September and has undergone a radical transformation for its SEMA appearance. With its lowered stance, aggressive body styling and high performance wheels and tyres, this PUV is instantly set apart from its meeker siblings.

In standard mode, the V8 produces 235 kW of power and 440 N.m of torque at 3 900 r/min, though Volvo claims at least 370 N.m of this will be available at 2 000 r/min. The XC90 PUV’s power is transferred through its six-speed “Geartronic” transmission and standard electronically controlled all-wheel drive system. Still a work in progress, the PUV’s maximum power is set to eventually top 480 kW.

Equipped with a host of sophisticated safety systems when it débuted two years ago, the XC90 was the first SUV to have standard Roll Stability Control and head curtain airbags for all three rows of seats.

On display alongside the PUV is the V50 sportswagon and the Evolve S40. The V50’s highly tuned 2,5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine produces 254 kW of power. In typical Volvo style, the V50 has an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system and close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

Standard, the T5 has a maximum power of 162 kW and produces torque of 320 N.m.

Tuning house Evolve has come up with an interpretation of the S40 sports saloon that may cause even hardened Volvo critics to steal another glance… Silver and titanium metallic paintwork and crafted body styling instantly grab the attention along with the huge 19-inch wheels.

However, it is beneath the surface where the greatest work has been done. Fitted with a larger turbo positioned away from the intake manifold, the Evolve S40 produces an estimated 317 kW of sheer power. Power is to all wheels via Haldex’s electronically controlled all-wheel drive system.

Versions of both the V50 wagon and S40 sports saloon were launched in South Africa earlier this year, though Deon Sonnekus of Volvo SA told CARtoday.com in September that the V8-engined XC90 was unlikely to make it to South Africa.