Volvo Cars has taken the wraps off its lightly facelifted XC90, giving the large SUV the option of a newly developed kinetic energy recovery braking system (KERS) that effectively renders it a mild-hybrid.

The KERS system is coupled with the existing (petrol and diesel) internal combustion engines to create a new integrated electrified powertrain, which Volvo has slotted under a fresh “B” badge (in addition to the "T" and "D" monikers). A new brake-by-wire system is linked to the energy recovery system to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by recovering kinetic energy under braking.

The Swedish firm says its new mild-hybrid powertrain offers fuel savings of up to 15 percent during real-world driving. The new B-badged variants complement Volvo’s existing T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid electrified option on the XC90.

Visual updates to the XC90 are subtle and include new wheel options, fresh exterior colours and what Volvo terms a new, “more modern” grille. Although the cabin hasn’t changed much (bar the option of some new materials), the automaker says the SUV can now be ordered with a “range of different seating configurations”, including a new six-seat arrangement.

Technological updates include the addition of an oncoming lane mitigation system that debuted in the XC60, while the XC90 now also offers drivers help with steering on both the city safety and the blind spot information systems. The cross-traffic alert function, meanwhile, gains an auto-braking system, while Android Auto has been added to the updated Sensus infotainment system.

Production of the facelifted XC90 is scheduled to kick off in May 2019 at the Torslanda plant in Sweden.
Volvo XC90