For the first time, Volvo is releasing a car that has been built for plug-in/electrification capability. The new XC90 T8 promises to offer the performance and luxury of an SUV but that will produce emission levels that are so low that small hybrid cars won’t be able to match. According to Volvo, this car is the world’s most powerful and cleanest seven-seater SUV yet.
Volvo did not want to compromise on performance, efficiency, driving pleasure or luggage space. With the new modular Scalable Product Architecture and Drive-E powertrain, it seems it didn’t really have to. The car delivers 400 hp and 640 Nm combined with ultra-low emissions of 59 g/km.
In only 5.9 seconds, the XC90 T8 can sprint from 0 to 62 mph. On top of that, there are five different driving modes to choose from that come with performance and efficiency-enhancing characteristics. Drivers can select between Hybrid, Pure Electric, Power, AWD and Save.
Hybrid is the default driving mode and is designed for everyday use. It alternates automatically between drawing power from the electric motor and two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E engine. This helps it to deliver the best fuel consumption overall.
In Pure Electric mode, the high-voltage battery, if fully charged, is the sole energy source of the car and powers the electric motor via the rear axle. This mode can cover the distance that the average driver does in a day as the range is 25 miles.
Power mode allows drivers to see the performance of the engine and the electric motor combined. When the car starts up, it uses the electric motor’s quicker response and instant torque curve while the combustion engine gets going. This means that the car can get better torque at lower revs, the kind you would expect from something like a V8 engine.
AWD is short for all-wheel drive. By letting the driver choose this option manually, they can put it into action as and when they need it or save it for later.
Save lets the driver freeze the battery level. If it is full then it can be used later on in Pure Electric drive. On the other hand, if the battery is low, then Save means the combustion engine can be used to charge it.
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