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Volvo XC90 T8 1 web

XC90 T8 Twin Engine AWD

Volvo also had the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid AWD variant for the drive. The 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged in-line four petrol engine acts as a drive unit for the front axle via a shift-by-wire eight-speed automatic, and generator for the big electric motor that drives the rear axle. The T6-spec engine’s output of 320 PS and 400 Nm is supplemented by the DC motor’s 88-PS equivalent and 240 Nm output to take the net peak total to 408 PS and 640 Nm, which is accessible in ‘Power’ mode complete with the electric all-wheel drive, allowing a 0-100 km/h dash in just 5.9 seconds.

Volvo XC90 T8 2 web

The T8 can also be driven on pure electricity for up to 40 km and the internal-combustion motor kicks in when charge level drops; effectively enabling ‘Hybrid’ mode where 50 km/l (not a typo!) is quite a normal achievement. The crankshaft-integrated starter generator (CISG) (yes, a third motor) delivers up to 25 PS and 150 Nm of torque to seamlessly allow the shift from electric to dual drive. The ‘Save’ mode allows the battery to be topped up for ‘Pure’ mode use when needed.

On the move, the T8 runs in eerie silence, broken only when the foot pushes forth and the whine of the supercharger awakens the senses. This car is quick! Although I didn’t have any test equipment with me, the open highways of Tarragona delivered a proving ground on a platter. Making sure the road was empty behind and ahead, I slowed to 30 km/h, before mashing the accelerator. The 40-120 km/h roll-on was dismissed in less than six seconds, and the car would climb even further without breaking into a sweat, but the big ‘120’ speed limit signs made me lift off immediately, having achieved the figure I was looking for. Yes, I did hit 130 km/h, but when I got back, the Volvo bloke assured me it was okay.

Volvo Auto India are considering bringing in the T8 as a 2+2 seater luxury model, more as a sparkling flagship. There will be customers, but only a select few, we believe. Yes, it’s an efficient plug-in hybrid which makes a statement and, yes, it will be expensive. How expensive? Not less than a crore of rupees. That expensive? Yes. That good? Yes!

Volvo XC90 T8 3 web

NEED TO KNOW: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

1,969-cc, 16-valve, DOHC, in-line four, direct injection, turbo-supercharged petrol

Petrol engine: Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
E-motor: Automatic, rear-wheel-drive

Max Power:
Petrol engine: 320 PS at 5,700 RPM
E-motor: 65 kW (88 PS)

Max Torque:
Petrol engine: 400 Nm at 2,200-5,400 RPM
E-motor: 240 Nm

Net Peak Output: 408 PS, 640 Nm

Price: Rs 1.1 crore (estimated)

On Sale: 2016 (expected)


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia


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