Volvo’s XC90 400bhp, 59g/km CO2 full-size SUV hybrid miracle

2015-01-27 08:39:53

When Volvo’s new XC90 7-seat SUV arrives in British showrooms in March, at the top of the range will be the new ‘Twin Engine’ Volvo XC90 T8. It is unlikely to be the biggest selling model but there is no denying its innovative presence. Now, having kept its cards relatively close to its chest, Volvo has at last decided to reveal more about exactly how the Twin Engine concept works and to reveal more about what the T8 has to offer.

A 318bhp 4-cylinder 2.0-litre Drive-E petrol engine, powered by both a turbocharger and a supercharger, sits at the front with the ability to produce 295lb ft of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed gearbox which transfers all the power and torque to the front wheels.

Meanwhile, at the rear, an 82hp electric motor delivers an additional 178lb ft of torque. Sitting in the central tunnel of the car sits a high-voltage battery together with a crankshaft-mounted starter generator. This is able to switch the car from EV to hybrid, and is also able to act as an engine boost, assisting it with an additional 110lb ft of pulling power when necessary. The citing of the battery so low in the car means that not only does it not intrude upon space for passengers and luggage, but also proves beneficial in terms of handling thanks to the lower centre of gravity. This makes the XC90 T8 safer and easier to handle in bends.

Volvo’s SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform has been designed from the outset to accommodate all the technology.

Five driving modes are on offer to the driver, offering different performance and efficiency characteristics that can be accessed by either the touchscreen or scroll wheel:

  • -‘hybrid’ mode is the default setting. This will automatically switch between petrol and electric power, depending on the topography and load under which the car  is being driven;
  • -‘electric drive’ mode allows the XC90 T8 to drive up to 25-miles on electric power alone;
  • -‘power’ mode offers you the full 400hp;
  • -‘AWD’ mode provides constant four-wheel drive; and
  • -‘save’ mode allows the driver to either “freeze” the battery level for later use by reselecting Pure Electric drive mode, or charges it.

Dr Peter Mertens, senior vice president of Volvo’s R&D department, told EcoCars4Sale: “The XC90 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid and high-performance model rolled into one. When designing the XC90 T8, Volvo Cars chose not to compromise on performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space,”

This article was prepared by First4auto the car news specialists.

Reported By

Andrew Merritt-Morling

Chief Editor