The Volvo XC90 T8 is a really a hooligan hiding behind green credentials

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If you want to race a Porsche from the traffic lights in an SUV then there’s only one choice. The T8 may be a high-sided whopper but it will embarrass a Boxster in a straight line – while carrying a sofa in the back at the same time.

Things become a little more blurry on the corners though. Despite that 316bhp turbo and supercharged 2.0 petrol engine, plus an 86bhp electric motor powering the back wheels, this hybrid sport version of the XC90 suffers from all the usual problems associated with a family mover.

I’ve no doubt the T8 will be a massive hit in the UK – but not because it’s a hybrid capable of more than 120mpg. No, for all its green credentials, the T8 will be bought by cool dads who want to squeeze as much performance as they can from their motor on a school run.

Unless they live in a city, I doubt any of them will ever plug the T8 in to the mains either, or speak of its potential fuel savings at dinner parties.

This is, then, the most unlikely Volvo ever built. A high performance seven-seater that you could sell to your eco friends and still throw about like a hooligan. Definitely one of the top ten cars of 2016 then.

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