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2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Hybrid Hits 62mph in 5.9sec (est.)

Top of the range hardware unveiled

Frank Markus
Dec 9, 2014

Volvo has pulled back the curtains on its range-topping V-8-equivalent XC90 T8 drivetrain, and also announced the plug-in model's estimated 0-62 mph time of 5.9 seconds.

The T8's drivetrain features a transverse-mounted compound supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic, with on-demand assistance from two electric motors. The engine itself produces a healthy and lag-free 314 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Sandwiched between it and the front transaxle is an integrated starter/generator (ISG) good for 46 hp and 111 lb-ft (133 lb-ft when cranking a cold-start). Drop the hammer for full power (or slip the front wheels and force the rears to kick in electrically) and the electric rear motor routes its 80 hp and 177-lb-ft through a single-speed transaxle with a 10:1 ratio to add to the accelerative equation. Both electric motors are water-cooled. Total system output is rated at 395 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.

2018 Volvo XC90
$46,900 Base Model (MSRP) 22/29 MPG Fuel Economy
2015 volvo xc90 charging port Photo 2/4   |   2015 Volvo XC90 Powertrain Details

These electric machines are powered by a 9.2-kWhr Lithium Manganese Oxide battery pack that lives in a crash-hardened cell beneath the center console. It utilizes 96 individual cells packaged in six modules using Nickel Manganese Cobalt chemistry and graphite anodes. The system is water-cooled, and the battery pack’s brain individually monitors each cell, with the ability to shut down a single cell if problems arise. The pack weighs 260 pounds, and in total the T8’s PHEV system adds 551 pounds. The ISG can power the rear motor when all-wheel traction is needed and the main battery pack is depleted.

As with Volvo’s current line of PHEVs (sold in other markets), there will be three driving modes: “Pure,” for electric-only driving with a range of about 25 miles (the engine kicks on if the driver demands full power), “Hybrid,” which balances power sources for maximum longer-range efficiency), or the self-explanatory “Power” mode. There’s also an AWD mode that permits gentle maneuvering with all-wheel traction, and a mode that can preserve battery capacity for later motoring through an EV-only city-center.

2016 Volvo XC90 rear badge 02 Photo 3/4   |   2016 Volvo XC90

T8 models will be differentiated by their badging, electric-charging door, and handmade crystal shift lever by Orefors. The dash will provide subtle eco-coaching gauges, including one that will graphically indicate the maximum acceleration that can be sustained in “Pure” EV mode.

Marketed globally as “Twin Engine” (a dubious term for a vehicle with one engine and twin motors), with CO2 output of 59 g/mile and a (ridiculously optimistic) Euro NEDC combined fuel economy rating of 94 mpg. Meanwhile, fuel economy based on the U.S. driving cycle is estimated at 59 MPGe.

2016 Volvo XC90 rear three quarter in motion 02 Photo 4/4   |   2016 Volvo XC90
By Frank Markus
21 Articles

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