The XC90’s high performance engine seems out of place in a super-safe Volvo

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There is something rather odd about driving a Volvo in an enthusiastic, almost sporty manner. The T8 is, after all, an SUV with all the high-sided, heavyweight issues associated with the genre.

Yet for the last five days I’ve been encouraged to press on by a high performance power plant that really has no place in a Volvo – a brand that puts safety at the core of its USP.

I’m not suggesting the Xc90 isn’t safe – just that I’ve been using the right foot with just abandon that there have been some buttock-clenching moments behind the wheel.

With it’s low profile tyres (no good for mounting kerbs), aggressive styling (not quite Q7 but imposing) and startling turn of speed, I can understand why Land Rover must be looking at the T8 as a credible rival to the Range Rover Sport…

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