Volvo has released additional information about the hybrid system that powers the all-new XC90 in the T8 version.
First, the company explains the model delivers “all the performance of a luxury SUV, but with emission levels that even small hybrid cars struggle to match”. Based on the new modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the XC90 T8 is a “uniquely roomy 7-seater SUV”, according to the manufacturer.
The T8 hybrid system consists of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Drive-E petrol supercharged and turbocharged engine with a total output of 318 HP (234 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque, powering the front axle. It is supported by an electric motor mounted on the rear axle that produces 80 HP (64 kW) and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque. The total output stands at 400 HP (294 kW) and 640 Nm (472 lb-ft), which are channeled through an optimized 8-speed automatic gearbox with shift-by-wire technology that allows drivers to control the transmission electrically. The 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration takes only 5.9 seconds, while the CO2 emissions are rated at 59 g/km.
There’s also a crankshaft-mounted starter generator (CISG), located between the engine and the gearbox, that performs three important functions: to be a 46 HP (34 kW) starter motor and allow the car to go from pure electric drive to combination combustion drive seamlessly, to be an electric generator and to act as an electric engine booster, working with the supercharger and turbocharger when extra power is needed, providing up to 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) of extra torque.
Electric energy for the system is provided by a high-voltage (270–400 V) battery, delivering 88 HP (65 kW) of power placed centrally in the tunnel of the car. Volvo explains there are several advantages to this position – for example, the battery does not impact the amount of available space inside the car while also ensuring a low and central center of gravity. The battery can be recharged by the two-step braking system that partly uses brake-by-wire technology.
The hybrid powertrain has a two circuit cooling system. The first cools the CISG and the large electric motor on the rear axle, while the second cools the battery in one of two ways: either passively, via the radiator, or actively through integration with the car’s climate system.
The car has five different driving modes, controlled by either a scroll wheel on the center console or a touchscreen on the dashboard. The Hybrid mode is the default mode that automatically alternates between using the petrol engine and the electric motor. The Pure Electric mode can be used when the battery is fully charged and gives a range of up to 40 km (25 miles) using just electricity. The Power mode gives the driver the combined performance of the combustion engine and the electric motor. The AWD mode offers constant all-wheel drive, while the Save mode “freezes” the battery level and saves energy for later use in Pure Electric mode.