Chief among the updates to Volvo’s range-topping SUV is an energy recovery system, that works with the existing combustion units and will wear the new ‘B’ badging.

The flagship XC90 can offer an 15% increase in fuel frugality and emission reductions, and the new brake-by-wire system works in conjunction with the energy-recovery system.

These new powertrains join the T8 twin-engine PHEV version of the XC90, which is subtly refreshed on the exterior, with new alloys, exterior colours and an updated grille at the forefront of the updates.

Safety features include blind spot information system, automatic city braking that recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. So drivers will be helping save the polar bears in more ways than one… Oncoming lane mitigation still remains, having been introduced on the XC60, and the cross traffic alert technology also now works with the autobrake function.

The XC90 is also now compatible with Android Auto, joining Apple CarPlay, and the Sensus infotainment system also integrates Spotify in places throughout the XC90 range.

The 2020 model year version will enter production in Sweden this May, with UK orders opening in mid-March. Full pricing will come in due course, with first deliveries anticipated to be late in Q2 of this year.

Volvo have announced that a new software upgrade to all of their four-wheel drive vehicles will increase torque distribution to the rear axles.

The Polestar-developed update alters the bias towards the rear axle, increasing the frequency of torque sent that way to improve turn-in, more control and engagement whilst driving.

Only present in Dynamic driving mode, the update comes after tweaks to the system’s throttle response, quicker gear changes, more refined points of gear change and in-corner gear holding.

The optimisation will affect both petrol and diesel AWD versions of the XC90, XC60 and XC40 models from August 2018.

Volvo began a partnership with Google last year, with the announcement that the next Sensus infotainment system would be the first to be run on the Android platform.

Now, news has been added that the next-gen Sensus will involve the voice-controlled Google Assistant. The system – the Android equivalent of Apple’s Siri – will be accompanied in the new suite by Google Maps and other apps from the Google Play Store along with features developed by the two companies in collaboration.

The inclusion of Google Assistant means you can simply tell your car what setting you want the air conditioning to be on, or you can dictate text messages and choose what music you want to listen to. Whilst the involvement of Google Maps will keep up to date with traffic levels and offer responsive alternative routes.

The system is due in 2020, and could make travelling much simpler and easier, but do you like the sound of it? Let us know in the comments section.