What is it?
Given Volvo’s brilliantly executed and duly over-hyped statement about the (yes, inevitable) electrification of its future line-up, the arrival of the new Volvo XC60 T8 in the UK seems perfectly timed. With its petrol-electric plug-in hybrid arrangement, the range-topping SUV certainly exemplifies the brand’s compass heading for the next decade.
Like the pronouncement itself, there is nothing particularly revolutionary about Volvo’s Twin Engine tech. Up front, there’s a 314bhp combustion engine driving the front wheels; at the back, there’s an 86bhp electric motor for powering the rear axle. The 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder motor is both supercharged and turbocharged, while the motor’s charge comes from a mains-chargeable 10.4kWh battery pack.
Although new to the XC60, the combination is familiar to Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, having made its debut in the larger XC90. While the system’s output and functionality are much the same, the benefit of transferring to the smaller model is plain enough: the XC60 weighs about 200kg less than its sibling, meaning that gains are made in the T8’s already very brisk acceleration from 0-62mph.
Emissions and economy remain the same at 49g/km and 134.5mpg respectively. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but as Volvo is pedalling the meaningless figures returned by the current European Drive Cycle, it’s not worth fixating over. Arguably the more relevant figure is the 28 miles the manufacturer claims for the car’s all-electric range, and the three and a half hours it takes to recharge from a domestic plug.