A startrescue.co.uk story...

Following the Audi e-tron's many positive reviews, Volvo too has stepped up to the petrol-electric plate with its new Hybrid XC90.

But does it promise as much excitement as the e-tron? Going by Volvo's performance figures for the car, it does indeed.

Powering the XC90 is a 395bhp petrol-electric set-up, delivering 472lb/ft of torque. This enables it to hit 62mph from standstill in just 5.9 seconds and produce just 59g/km of CO2 – all of which is pretty impressive for a seven seater SUV.

The four cylinder 2.0 litre Drive-E petrol unit delivers 314bhp, backed up with a rear-axle 81bhp electric motor, enabling four-wheel drive when both units are in operation.

According to Volvo, passenger space is plentiful in the XC90 because the battery pack is centrally located; this also means the car has a low centre of gravity.

Five drive modes make for what looks like some very versatile driving: 'Hybrid' uses petrol and electric together for maximum efficiency, while 'Save' turns off the electric motor, thus keeping the battery charged.

'Pure' is electric-only, which enables 25 miles of driving without a drop of petrol being used. There’s also 'AWD', which enables the four-wheel-drive system.

'Power' mode harnesses the electric motor's instant torque to improve performance – providing the maximum 395bhp.

As always, we will bring further details of this new car to our annual breakdown cover customers when they emerge.

Will it rival the Audi e-tron?

Given that the electric unit alone has more horsepower than many petrol cars, the XC90 clearly packs some serious punch. And looking at the e-tron’s combined average output of 201bhp, the Volvo may well be more exciting than its already-fun German rival.