Volvo Cars has introduced twin engine technology in what it claims to be the cleanest and most powerful SUV. The first Volvo designed from the ground up for plug-in/electrification compatibility, the XC90 T8 delivers the performance of a luxury SUV, but with emission levels that are lower than small hybrid cars.
Here is an animation of the powertrain:
When designing the XC90 T8, Volvo Cars chose not to compromise on performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space. By building on the new modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and successful Drive-E petrol powertrain, the company has created a uniquely roomy 7-seater SUV that delivers 400hp/640Nm combined with ultra-low emissions of 59g/km (TBC). The 8-speed automatic gearbox has also been specially adapted for the hybrid: shift-by-wire technology allows drivers to control the transmission electrically. The XC90 T8 can go from 0 to 62mph in 5.9 seconds.
Speaking about the SUV, Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group said, “The XC90 T8 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one. The Drive-E engines already offer highly competitive performance versus the competition. The T8 takes it further into a leading position.”
Using either a scroll wheel on the centre console or a touchscreen on the dashboard, drivers can choose from:
- Hybrid: This is the default mode, suitable for everyday use. Here, the vehicle will automatically alternate between drawing power from the 2-litre, 4-cylinder Drive-E engine and the electric motor to deliver the best overall fuel consumption.
- Pure electric: In this mode, when the high-voltage battery is fully charged, it serves as the car’s sole energy source, powering the electric motor over the rear axle. The XC90 T8 has a range of up to 25 miles using just electricity, which covers the total distance most people drive in one day. And thanks to the regenerative braking system, this mode is super-efficient in the stop-and-go traffic of city environments. If more power is needed, the Drive-E combustion engine starts up automatically.
- Power mode: Here, drivers get the combined performance of the combustion engine and the electric motor. On start-up, the SUV takes advantage of the electric motor’s superior response and instant torque curve, while the combustion engine gets up to speed. This combination offers better torque at lower revs, equivalent to that of a large displacement engine like the V8.
- AWD: This mode offers constant all-wheel drive on demand. The advantage of being able to select AWD manually is that the driver can use it when needed, or choose to save energy for later.
- Save: If the battery is charged, this mode allows the driver to “freeze” the battery level and save it for later use with Pure Electric drive. On the other hand, if the battery is low, the driver can use the combustion engine to charge the battery to a certain level for later use with Pure Electric drive.
Note: The data is based on the NEDC certification cycle used in the EU. The figures are preliminary.