Displaying items by tag: Volvo
"Later this year, we will reveal our new all-electric flagship SUV," Volvo said.
Originally electric and software defined, it is a demonstration of our future and marks the beginning of a new era of security and company.
For almost 100 years, Volvo's purpose has been to innovate and set new standards to save more lives. With the latest car, the legacy continues with the introduction of new technologies that will help and accelerate progress towards the company's vision:
That no one should be seriously injured or lose their life in a new Volvo car.
"Before we show you the car later this year, Jim Rowan will present our vision for Volvo cars and safety in the future – and offer a first look at some of the new technologies that come as standard on our next all-electric SUV. It will feature innovative features designed to increase your safety as well as those around you," the announcement reads.
During the previous two years, Volvo was one of the few car manufacturers that, despite all the difficulties, recorded an increase in sales, but now they too have found themselves in a problem.
During August, the Swedish company delivered 43,666 vehicles to customers, a decrease of 4.6 percent compared to the same period last year. According to the official announcement, the reason for lower sales is the lack of microchips.
Although demand remained high, the Swedish company simply could not meet it due to disrupted supply chains and component shortages. However, in the meantime, another big problem has appeared for Volvo, and that is the increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus in China. The Swedish company announced on Thursday that it was temporarily closing its plant in the city of Chengdu due to local restrictions on movement, and another Volvo plant in China has recently been affected by increasing shutdowns imposed by Chinese authorities to reduce the number of infections.
The factory in the Chinese city of Chengdu is very important for Volvo because their best-selling model – the XC60 – is produced there, and it is not yet known when this plant will be closed. In terms of sales, after the XC60, Volvo customers most often chose the XC40 and XC90 during August.
"The Volvo XC90 Recharge is beautiful, lavish and alluring yet it's not the most prudent enormous half and half SUV"
An opponent for the Mercedes GLE half and half, Audi Q7 TFSI e, BMW X5 xDrive45e and other huge extravagance mixture SUVs, the Volvo XC90 Recharge is a petroleum electric cross breed that plans to consolidate the reasonableness and solace of the remainder of the reach with great execution and further developed mileage.
The Recharge sits at the highest point of the XC90 territory, so while it's absolutely not modest, it is seething with hardware and highlights. Its inside is a fabulous spot to be, perfectly planned and loaded with innovation - the vast majority of which is controlled or observed by a halfway mounted picture infotainment screen that acts rather like a tablet. It's vaporous inside and the cowhide managed seats are among the most agreeable fitted in any vehicle for long excursions.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter petroleum motor in addition to an electric engine, which join to deliver 448bhp. It's exceptionally quick for this sort of vehicle, however the XC90 Recharge isn't a games SUV - the BMW X5 xDrive45e, for instance, handles better on more tight streets. Consider rather the XC90 Recharge as a strong and truly agreeable vehicle for regular driving, and the Volvo takes some beating.
Regardless of having seven seats and a crossover powertrain, the Volvo XC90 Recharge is still extremely reasonable. The batteries just diminish boot space by 40 liters and even with each of the seven seats up, you've actually got a boot that is a comparative size to a supermini's. Grown-ups will be very cheerful in the rearmost seats, albeit a Land Rover Discovery will be considerably more agreeable in the event that you're routinely conveying heaps of individuals.
MPG, running expenses and CO2
With the Recharge's authoritatively cited economy figure of 83.1 to 217mpg, you'd be excused for thinking it was one of the most economical half and halves around, yet unfortunately this isn't true during genuine driving. To accomplish anything near this figure, you'll need to drive without taking advantage of the vehicle's incredible presentation, stick to metropolitan streets and ensure its batteries are completely energized, as well. Its electric-just scope of somewhere in the range of 27 and 43 miles (contingent upon the haggles fitted) is cutthroat with most opponents, yet the BMW X5 xDrive45e is in front of the Volvo with its 50-mile range, because of a 24kWh battery, while the Mercedes GLE 350 de has a much bigger 30.8kWh battery and 66-mile range. The XC90 Recharge has a 14.9kWh lithium-particle battery.
As it's a half and half with CO2 discharges of 28-76g/km, the XC90 Recharge has a low first-year charge bill (normally moved into the out and about cost). After this, you'll pay the option fuel vehicle VED rate each year, in addition to an extra charge from years two to six, because of the Recharge's £40,000-in addition to asking cost. Because of its low outflows, the mixture XC90 has a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) organization vehicle charge rating, yet it's at this point not excluded from the London Congestion Charge, which currently just applies to zero discharges models.
Similarly as with all Volvos, the module XC90 accompanies a guarantee that goes on for a considerable length of time or 60,000 miles, whichever starts things out. Because of the presentation on offer, the Recharge is among the most costly XC90 to safeguard; it sits in bunches 44-45 (out of 50) contingent upon trim level.
Motors, drive and execution
With 448bhp from its joined petroleum motor and electric engine, the XC90 Recharge is the quickest vehicle in the reach. It can reach 62mph from a stop in 5.4 seconds, while its maximum velocity is electronically restricted to 112mph. There's loads of force down and out the fire up reach and it is great to overwhelm execution. It's a second quicker to 62mph than the eco-disapproved of Mercedes GLE 350 de, yet has an emphasis on solace so it's not the most ideal SUV for twisty streets. It's quite far off offering the lively allure of the BMW X5 xDrive45e, as well. The Volvo is best at loose, steady, rapid cruising; it's a major, weighty vehicle that becomes disrupted assuming you're too forceful in the corners.
The XC90 Recharge is as yet a delight to drive, in any case. Its controlling is light and there's bunches of grasp and foothold on account of its four-wheel-drive framework, making it more fulfilling than the delicate Lexus RX L 450h. Like most XC90s, the Recharge is most at home on more extensive, open streets, however by and large's not difficult to drive generally speaking gave its size isn't an issue. On the off chance that you're utilized to a more modest vehicle, you could require an opportunity to conform to the Recharge's significant length, width and weight.
Inside and solace
Moderate yet sumptuous - the Volvo XC90 has one of the most outstanding insides around
Perhaps of the greatest benefit the Volvo XC90 Recharge has over its adversaries is its awesome inside. It's gigantically agreeable paying little mind to where you're sitting, with lashings of cowhide and quality trim causing it to feel unmistakably upmarket. It's planned in a pleasingly unfussy way, as well.
The dashboard is overwhelmed by a focal touchscreen that controls everything from the multi-zone environment control to the sat nav, sound system and different settings. On the off chance that you're mechanically disapproved, you'll adore the tablet-like connection point - however if not, it could require an investment to become accustomed to. Joined by another screen replaces customary dials behind the directing wheel. This is not difficult to peruse and can show every kind of data, including sat-nav bearings. Touch radio, and Android Auto network and an incredible 10-speaker sound system come as standard. Google-based programming additionally implies it feels immediately natural to cell phone clients.
Given you don't work the motor too hard, it's surprisingly calm in the XC90 Recharge's inside, which when joined with the agreeable and broadly customizable seats, 'CleanZone' air quality control framework and a delicate, controlled ride, makes it an exceptionally great vehicle to go in. With the air suspension (standard on the Ultimate models), things just get more wonderful.
Standard hardware is phenomenal on the Recharge, paying little heed to which trim level you pick. The cross breed can be had in Core, Plus and rich Ultimate trims, alongside Dark and Light renditions for a really brandishing or customary outside plan with sparkle dark or chrome trim separately. Indeed, even the least expensive is genuinely rich, with 19-inch combinations, full LED headlights, front and back stopping sensors and a switching camera, a fueled rear end and full cowhide trim, among other engaging elements.
Furthermore profits by an opening all encompassing sunroof, versatile headlights, a 360-degree camera, surrounding inside lighting and a Harman Kardon speaker update. Extreme adds 21-inch composites and versatile air suspension, alongside fleece mix upholstery, a head-up show and a significantly more impressive Bowers and Wilkins sound system with 18 speakers for a really vivid encompass sound insight.
Reasonableness and boot space
A lot of room for seven individuals and an enormous boot that is effectively made much greater
As perhaps of the biggest vehicle out and about, it's not shocking that the Recharge is likewise exceptionally extensive inside. With each of the seven seats being used, there's 262 liters of room in the boot - extraordinary for a vehicle of this sort. Notwithstanding, crease them generally down and you're left with a colossal, van-like 1,816 liters to the rooftop. With all seats in the second and third lines collapsing exclusively, Volvo claims the seats can be arranged in 32 distinct ways. The XC90 is a lot greater and more flexible than the five-seat BMW X5 xDrive45e; just the electric Tesla Model X can match it in the class - it beats the Volvo's complete seats-collapsed space, yet its third line isn't exactly as obliging.
Leg and headroom are fantastic in every one of the three lines and third-column travelers shouldn't experience a lot of difficulty getting into their seats thanks to huge entryways and sliding center column seats. There are a lot of cubbies dispersed all through the lodge, with even third-column travelers getting their own stockpiling canisters.
Assuming you intend to tow with your XC90 Recharge, it's essential to take note of that its most extreme braked-trailer towing weight is 2,400kg. This is 300kg under XC90s with the most impressive motors, so in the event that you anticipate towing a huge train, horsebox or boat trailer, you could require the petroleum or diesel model. The Recharge's towing limit is still nice, particularly as numerous crossovers can tow a negligible portion of that weight.
Dependability and wellbeing
Class-driving evaluations and loads of astute wellbeing innovation
The freshest Volvo XC90 didn't highlight in our Driver Power 2021 review however the more modest Volvo XC40 came eighth out of the main 75 vehicles marked down. Volvo itself completed 10th out of 30 producers. Proprietors commended motors and gearboxes, as well as solace and in-vehicle amusement, and the brand performed well for security. All of this looks good for the reach besting crossover XC90.
Volvo is celebrated for its wellbeing and the XC90 is no exemption, procuring a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test score and incredible 97 and 87% evaluations for grown-up and youngster security individually. The XC90 likewise has bunches of smart innovation fitted as standard to assist with staying away from crashes, including IntelliSafe, a framework that cautions of perils ahead and brakes for you if necessary - basically a high level AEB (programmed crisis stopping mechanism.
The vehicle additionally includes a high level vulnerable side checking framework that can control once again into path assuming you're going to crash into another vehicle, and will try and brake and steer itself assuming it detects you've left the street. These, in addition to a lot of other standard frameworks, cause the XC90 To re-energize one of the most secure SUVs around - crossover etc.
Added batteries, a tweaked turbo four, and a more potent electric motor deliver more power while doubling all-electric capability and lowering emissions.
One of the distinct advantages of the auto industry's current moment of record profitability is the ability it gives carmakers to invest in truly worthwhile upgrades during mid-cycle refreshes. Witness Volvo's plug-in hybrids, specifically the latest version of the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range. Like its XC90 big brother and the company's refreshed S60, V60, and S90 hybrids, it sports a new-for-'22 powertrain that extracts more power from its electric motor, revised to loft its lusty (and also freshly tweaked) supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to new heights, with additional battery cells delivering greater all-electric range.
Thanks to a new, third layer of cells, the T8 battery pack's capacity jumps from 9.1 kWh to 14.9, increasing its range in all-electric operation—what Volvo calls "Pure" mode—to 36 miles, up from 19, a not insignificant improvement. Volvo research suggests that customers spend fully half their time in all-electric mode. For those with charging capability at home or at work, Volvo proposes, most daily driving can be tackled in the new model on electric power alone. As a further benefit, buyers qualify for the federal government's full $7500 tax credit, as against the $5419 available for buyers of its predecessors with their skimpier range.
Revisions to the powertrain see its output skyrocket 55 horsepower to a whopping 455 total horsepower, with the upgraded electric motor chipping in 143 of those to go along with the 313 ponies that come courtesy of the tweaked gasoline mill. Up substantially from the outgoing model's 87 horsepower, electric motive force gets directed to the rear wheels, while the gas engine takes care of the fronts. With this much horsepower and a Brobdingnagian 523 pound-feet of torque, the refreshed mid-size SUV stands with its aforementioned brethren as the most powerful cars Volvo has ever brought to market. Such is the promise and pleasure of electrification.
With an EPA-estimated 63 MPGe, the economy potential is infeasibly high. In a random sampling of roads at a launch event in and around Palm Springs, California, helpless to resist the siren call of its massive power, we still managed to eke out a still creditable indicated average of 45 MPGe.
Volvo cites a 4.5-second 60-mph sprint for the Recharge T8 Extended Range (shaving half a second off the old model's best effort), and performance with both powerplants firing is predictably sparkling. As well it ought to be with that much torque to call on, even allowing for the XC60 hybrid's borderline portly claimed 4758-pound curb weight. But despite the extra juice, the power glut is not obtrusive as the vehicle's two diverse and generally harmonious powertrains got down to it, save a one-time, mild clunk from the rear. In Pure electric mode, pickup remained acceptably brisk but not neck-snapping.
One-pedal driving—where regenerative braking causes the car to slow when the driver lifts off the accelerator without applying the brakes—is a new and much appreciated feature for the hybrid model, one that was previously seen only on the firm's EV offerings. Those who've not experienced it will quickly get the hang of one-pedal operation and, in our experience, quickly grow to enjoy it, slowing down with a counterintuitive smoothness that quickly becomes second nature. Use of the feature is selected by double-clicking the gearshift into Drive after selecting the Pure driving mode on the central screen. It proved unexpectedly addictive while charging up this sure-footed chassis, then rapidly descending, winding mountain roads.
External updates are subtle for this refreshed and still quite handsome model, with a new grille and rear bumper its most noticeable external changes. Prices start at $55,845, so the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range is not cheap, though, in an era of rising car prices, surely reasonable. Nor is it as expensive as it feels, with quality fittings and distinctly good looks that amount to extraordinary style in an era where cheap plastics dominate and, with few exceptions, SUVs tend to toggle between ugly and boring. This XC60 Recharge is neither, and its revised, ultra-modern dash and uniquely stylish interior design help make it legitimate competition for models costing far more. Particularly appealing was our sample's fabric seating, a wool blend (available only in gray) that promises to be comfortable in extreme weather both hot and cold.
All in all, the XC60 Recharge T8 Extended Range provides proof that in car manufacture as in life, having the money to up one's game is preferable to not.
At a glance
|New price||£57,400 - £57,400|
|Lease from new||From £717 p/mView lease deals|
Not tested to latest standardsView pre-2017 economy specs
- Excellent performance
- Surprisingly practical
- Comforable seats and ride
- Expensive to buy
- Rivals eclipse it for range
- Doesn't feel as special as it should
The verdict: Volvo’s five years of experience building plug-in-hybrid SUVs seems to be paying off, as the Recharge T8 version of the 2021 XC60 luxury compact SUV is as well rounded in its plug-in aspects as the gas version is in every other way.
Versus the competition: This will soon change, but the XC60 T8 has few direct competitors, though it matches the 2021 Audi Q5 e for electric range and gas mileage, and it trounces the 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e in the latter category. For both metrics, the model to beat might be the Corsair Grand Touring, coming this spring from a resurgent Lincoln.
Volvo appears to be using the word “Recharge” to represent any vehicle with a plug, be it a pure battery-electric, such as the new XC40 Recharge subcompact SUV, or this plug-in hybrid version of the XC60 compact SUV. Perhaps a better indicator is the “T8” powertrain designation, which we’ve seen only on plug-in hybrids, including the larger XC90 Recharge T8. The original Volvo XC60 is an excellent luxury compact SUV, good enough to win our 2018 comparison test. Not much has changed — either for the XC60 or its competitors — since. Rather than rehash what we like about it, I’ll direct you to our most recent comprehensive review of the regular XC60 and focus here on the plug-in hybrid.
Ten years’ experience has revealed the many ways in which a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, can go astray, so I’ve come to focus my evaluations of them on these factors. Each area undergoes a pass/fail test to determine whether the vehicle as a whole passes muster. Behold the XC60’s Recharge’s results:
This is an important one because early PHEVs had electric ranges that were comically short. One of the first, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, could drive only 6 miles on electric power, as estimated by the EPA.
We’ve come a long way since then. Most PHEVs go roughly 20 miles before their gas engines are needed, and they can even achieve highway speeds gas-free. The Prius Plug-In’s successor has been succeeded by today’s vastly improved Prius Prime, which has a 25-mile electric range. The EPA estimates the XC60 T8 can go 18 miles on a charge. I matched or exceeded that number twice, thanks in part to favorable weather.
This test isn’t about whether the vehicle hits its estimate, though; it’s about the range itself, and anything under 20 miles feels too short. I know 18 miles is technically long enough — and I underscore that a 20-mile trip that uses gasoline for only 2 miles is still great — but the key word here is feels. American shoppers are driven by feeling as much as logic, if not more. (By the same token, 150 miles doesn’t feel like enough range for an all-electric car, even though it’s usually more than enough if you charge it nightly at home.) Also, cold temperatures invariably shorten range. So, bearing in mind that each of these pass/fail tests add up to an overall verdict, I’m going to consider any PHEV range under 20 a failure (or just a fail, as the kids say).
Pass/fail verdict: Fail
In a plug-in hybrid, you want to have enough power to drive in electric-only mode without triggering the gas engine, at least under normal conditions. This is mainly a psychological thing given that it doesn’t hurt if the engine runs for a minute or two. It’s just the principle of it, you know? In its default, hybrid driving mode, the XC60 Recharge will accelerate under electric power at lower speeds, and you can maintain that so long as you keep the virtual needle on the gauge from crossing from the lightning symbol side of the tick mark (electric) to the droplet symbol side (gasoline). Note that while the needle moves with your acceleration, the tick mark and the threshold between electric and gas are also a moving target, depending on load, incline, etc.
The true test of electric acceleration comes by locking a car in electric propulsion, which you do in the XC60 T8 by selecting the Pure driving mode; it’s available so long as there’s enough juice in your battery pack. In Pure mode, you can accelerate as hard as you want and stay in electric mode — so long as you don’t click the switch at the bottom of the accelerator pedal’s travel (it used to be called the kickdown switch). Power in the Volvo is modest because the goal in a PHEV isn’t to have a super-powerful electric motor and a super-powerful gas engine; that would be inefficient. The goal is for the motor and engine to be powerful together. If you’re in a bind and you floor it and click that switch, the gas engine comes to life and you get full acceleration. In normal driving, I found the Volvo’s electric mode to be adequate 95% of the time — but it bears noting that Cars.com is headquartered in the flatlands of Chicago.
I was able to achieve 70-plus mph on the highway, but one time after merging onto an interstate, I encountered a gentle uphill slope that climbed for at least a mile. With the T8 powertrain at the height of its electric abilities, I was below the speed limit and barely tacking on mph — with drivers behind me getting irritated and whipping around me. This was with only me in the car and no cargo weighing it down. Of course, in this instance, I could have easily floored the pedal the rest of the way and used the gas engine. If ever I had to pass, I’d definitely have needed to. If you drive in a hilly region, I suspect you’ll rely on the XC60’s gas engine more often than I did.
In my electric acceleration test, the XC60 T8 was borderline. It was certainly less effective on highways and hills, but because I like how it’s executed and it worked well where I drove it, I’ll give it a pass.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
Hybrid acceleration is also important, and it has different aspects. First, you don’t want to make sacrifices, and Volvo seems to know that. Its combination of the supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor provides 400 total system horsepower (415 hp in the Polestar Engineered trim level, thanks to different gas-engine tuning). These numbers are well above the most powerful non-hybrid XC60 — the T6’s 316 hp — but the hybrids also weigh considerably more, so it’s best to look at 0-60-mph times. According to Volvo, the T8 powertrain is the quickest to make that run, at 5.0 seconds (4.9 seconds in the Polestar Engineered). The T6 is rated at 5.6 seconds and the all-wheel-drive T5 at 6.4 seconds, so not only are you not losing acceleration by choosing the PHEV, you’re gaining it.
Then there’s how the acceleration feels. Hybrid powertrains have traditionally felt kinda herky-jerky, and that would definitely be a sacrifice in a luxury vehicle. Volvo has done a nice job with this one. It incorporates the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the non-hybrid T5 and T6, so you don’t get the droning and rubber-band effect earlier hybrid adopters suffered. It doesn’t feel 100% conventional, but it’s pretty close. The XC60 T8 passes the hybrid acceleration test.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
That brings us to braking. Hybrid braking is often nonlinear and mushy-feeling — just generally not what you want. We’ve put up with it for the sake of better mileage, though, and fortunately hybrid braking action has been improving. Again, Volvo’s done a nice job here. I didn’t mistake the XC60 T8’s pedal feel for a conventional braking system, but some people might. It passes.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
If you don’t think the interior matters, you’ve probably never inspected a plug-in hybrid version of an existing vehicle before. Historically, squeezing a second propulsion system into a vehicle that wasn’t designed for it has meant something had to give. Battery packs in particular tended to diminish interior space, robbing either backseat legroom or cargo volume.
The XC60 T8 passes the cabin test with flying colors. Its seating dimensions are exactly the same as the gas-only versions of the XC60 front and rear.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
While we’ve seen some PHEVs whose floors are elevated to accommodate a battery pack, that’s not exactly the case here — though there is something weird going on because it isn’t perfectly level, which I don’t recall from the non-hybrid. It’s barely noticeable, though, and the cargo dimensions are once again the same between the regular and the Recharge versions of the XC60. The main sacrifice — visible if you raise the floor — is the lack of a spare tire. Instead, you get a compressor and some sealant goo. Honestly, there are a lot of vehicles nowadays that lack a spare tire with less of an excuse than the XC60 Recharge, so I’m not going to hold this against it.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
Some hybrids just can’t hack towing, but the Recharge is rated to tow 3,500 pounds just like other XC60s. You can get an SUV that tows a considerably heavier trailer than the XC60, but when it comes to PHEV versus gas-only, the Recharge T8 passes the towing test.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
Gas mileage is a crucial consideration, even if the vehicle has a long electric range but especially if it doesn’t. For the Volvo, there’s good news here: Once its electric charge is depleted, the XC60 Recharge is rated 26/28/27 mpg city/highway/combined on required premium gas. The XC60 T6 that’s closest to the Recharge’s performance is rated 23 mpg combined. Even the most efficient XC60 T5 with FWD is rated 25 mpg combined — 2 mpg less than the T8. That means you could buy a Recharge and never plug it in and you’d still get better mileage. While that would be a pointless waste, and I hesitate to give anyone bad ideas, any PHEV with better combined mpg than the rest of its range even without plugging in gets an automatic pass in the gas mileage test.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
Another test inspired by PHEV history, this one is necessary because, while it’s pretty easy to see good electric range figures and mpg ratings, overall range is easily overlooked. When an automaker shrinks the gas tank significantly in order to make room for batteries, for example, the overall range can end up being pathetic. Not to fear: According to EPA estimates, the XC60 T8’s total range is 520 miles, 502 on gasoline. This beats the T5 FWD by 32-50 miles. The T8 passes the overall range test.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
The price test takes into account all the other tests. If a vehicle fails many of the previous tests, any price premium would be harder to swallow — and, conversely, if a vehicle had leading electric range or some other stand-out attribute, a higher price could be justified.
Because there’s a federal tax credit of over $5,400 for the Recharge, its price ends up being roughly $500 more than a comparable trim level with the T6 powertrain — the most powerful non-hybrid XC60. You can pay several thousand dollars less for a T5, but, as we’ve covered, it will be both less powerful and less efficient. Some $500 seems a small price to pay for a plug-in hybrid of the XC60 T8’s capabilities. At least so long as the tax credit remains available, it passes this test, as well.
The downside to tax credits is you have to pay more up front and won’t get the money back until the IRS sends your tax returns the following calendar year. The XC60 Recharge T8 starts with the Inscription Expression trim level with standard all-wheel drive at $54,595 (all prices exclude the incentive but include destination charges). It also comes in R-Design and Inscription trims before topping out with the Polestar at $70,595. Our test vehicle was an XC60 Recharge T8 Inscription with a base price of $61,000 but a total sticker of $71,340, including many options such as the Climate Package, Advanced Package, 4-Corner Air Suspension, Bowers & Wilkins premium audio and more.
Pass/fail verdict: Pass
Final Test Results
It shouldn’t surprise you that the 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8 passes the overall plug-in hybrid test with flying colors. Honestly, I’d happily trade some of its horsepower and acceleration for more electric range, but it isn’t that simple when you’re combining electric motors with gasoline engines in existing models; automakers typically work with platforms that weren’t designed for hybrid use (though this is slowly changing), and they only have so many engines of their own to choose from. Given how many challenges and trade-offs manufacturers face, and the results we’ve seen in other PHEVs, Volvo has balanced things out quite nicely here. Five years of experience building plug-in hybrid SUVs is evident in the 2021 XC60 Recharge T8.
Don't use the Internet and have nowhere to charge your car? Forget Volvo.
Okay, if you don’t use the Internet, you won’t read anything new and you won’t have anything to regret. But Volvo is really turning its business around.
From 2030, every new Volvo will be electric
News has arrived from Sweden that Volvo Cars will be committed to becoming leaders in the fast-growing premium electric car market with a plan to become a fully electric car company by 2030.
Until then, the company will gradually phase out models with internal combustion engines, including hybrids. At Volvo, they expect that legal solutions and the expansion of charging networks will enable this transition to electric cars.
For now, Volvo will only sell its electric vehicles online.
Volvo Cars last year launched its first all-electric car, the XC40 Recharge, in markets around the world. In the coming years, Volvo Cars will introduce several additional electric models. By 2025, the goal is for 50 percent of global sales to consist of fully electric cars, and the rest will be hybrids. By 2030, every car he sells should be fully electric.
And the role of the merchant?
The fight for clients is over - there will be nothing to negotiate here. The buyer buys the car at the price shown on the website, and the seller must prepare it, elegantly hand it over and then service it. In the meantime, they may organize a test drive to help those who are not satisfied by clicking on the page. Volvo emphasizes that the dealer network will be just as important as it is today, but the role of dealers will be limited because electric cars are much simpler. We wonder what interest the owners of car dealerships will have in this approach of the manufacturer?
After Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, GM, Ford and others, Volvo has now announced that from 2030 it will produce exclusively electric cars. That's why they accelerated a bit, so today the second electric model of the company was shown - C40 Recharge.
Moreover, the Swedish brand plans that from 2025, half of the sold Volvo cars will be powered by electricity, and the other half by hybrid drive.
This means that in just four years, they will stop selling models powered exclusively by SUS petrol or diesel engines. And whoever decides to buy a new Volvo in ten years, the only models that will be available will be electric.
Volvo is owned by the Chinese company Geely, from which it has been confirmed that the conventionally powered models will be on sale only for a while longer, all in order to meet the stricter standards on harmful gas emissions, writes CNN.
It will be a very difficult task for a company that literally has 2 electric cars as of today - the famous XC40 Recharge and the C40 Recharge introduced today.
The new coupe-SUV is based on the XC40 Recharge model, but is slightly lower than it. In addition to a more attractive design, it also has two powerful electric motors with a total power of 408 hp. The 78 kWh battery provides a range of about 420 km, and a charging time of up to 80% is 40 minutes. The new electric model will cost just over £ 50,000.
The head of Volvo announced that in addition to the new electric model from the 40 series, more novelties will arrive in the years ahead. As they pointed out from the Sino-Swedish company, they will work a lot on the development of the autonomous driving system.
Another interesting fact that they made public is that the new electric Volvo cars will be sold exclusively online, which already applies to the new C40 Recharge. Investing in online sales will further reduce costs, and after all, a similar strategy is being implemented by Tesla, whose models are officially sold exclusively online.
We remind you that many other car companies have recently started announcing plans for a significant acceleration towards full electrification of the market in Europe.
Among them are Daimler, Ford (which will cooperate with VW), JLR and others, while Tesla's first factory in the EU, which is being built in Berlin, will also contribute to this trend.
Also, it is expected that the production of electric cars will be cheaper compared to conventional ones, both due to the new generations of batteries and the smaller number of parts that would be transported and, therefore, the smaller number of workers needed for assembly.
Warmer in winter and always cooler than ubiquitous leather.
Why does everybody want a leather interior? These days even cars that aren't lined with cow mostly get swathed in petrochemicals longing to pass for cow, with euphemistic marketing handles ranging from the generic leatherette or vegan leather to trademarked monikers like BMW's SensaTec, Mercedes' MB-Tex, and VW's V-Tex. Some of our favorite car interiors ever have sported cloth seats, from the Porsche 928's psychedelic Pasha checkerboard to the 911's Pepita houndstooth and various tartan plaids. Sadly, they're all but gone today. So it seemed downright newsworthy when a 2021 Volvo XC90 T8 turned up in my driveway swathed in wool upholstery fabric. Volvo calls it Tailored Wool Blend, and I relished every cosseted moment in these thrones.
What Is Tailored Wool Blend And What Colors Are Available?
This tweedy weave is comprised of 30 percent wool and 70 percent recycled polyester, so it might be even earth-friendlier than "vegan leather." Tailored Wool Blend appeared as a no-cost option on the 2020 refresh of the XC90 Inscription model in a color called Midnight Zinc. The same option is also available on XC60 Inscription models.
At launch last year, a second color called Slate was offered, but it proved less popular and was dropped for 2021. Volvo does offer another textile, known as City Weave Textile fabric, as a no-cost option on the S60, V60, and XC60 Momentum trim grades. It's in a hue called Blonde and paired with Iron Ore Inlays, and it appears darker and more "plaid" than our Midnight Zinc material.
Inherent Climate Comfort
It should surprise nobody that cloth seats always feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer—even when contacting bare skin after direct sunlight exposure. The material also presents less resistance to heating, so you'll generally tend to feel the warmth from seat heaters faster. Despite their inherently breathable nature, Volvo at least does not offer a ventilation/seat-cooling option with either its Tailored Wool Blend or City Weave Textile upholstered seating.
What About Cleanup, Care, And Maintenance?
First, how big a slob are you? Inveterate drive-thru diners who regularly juggle sloppy Big Macs while driving will probably find that leather/pleather/vinyl products wipe clean easier. Long-haul car owners who read their owner's manuals and attempt to adhere to the recommendations therein will find that greater care and maintenance is recommended for leather. Case in point: The manual in our XC90 T8 devoted just 84 words to describing how to clean the wool blend but prattled on with 267 words of advice for maintaining the leather, including a recommendation to apply protective cream quarterly. I can tell you this much: Volvo deems Tailored Wool Blend kid-friendly enough to offer its $300 integrated center booster cushion. I'd cheerfully order up a textile interior and just apply some Scotchgard from time to time.
Might The Fad Be Returning?
Way back in the era of chauffeur-driven "town cars" featuring an enclosed passenger compartment and an exposed front seat, Jeeves sat on durable, weather-resistant leather, while His and Her Grace luxuriated in mohair, wool, or other sumptuous fabrics. Velvets and other fabrics remained popular in luxury cars well into the '60s, and wool remains the fabric of choice for "Toyota's Rolls-Royce"—the Century—because it's deemed more dignified; fidget as you will, a wool seat will never make the flatulent noises leather can. Bentley has just reintroduced a Mulliner Tweed interior, using fabric sourced from Scotland, though it's generally used to adorn the door panels. (Of course, companies like Bentley and Rolls-Royce will cheerfully swaddle any part of their cars in any material you desire if the price is right.) We must point out that one of our favorite cloth upholstery offerings of all time remains available on the 2021 Volkswagen GTI: Clark Plaid cloth inserts. Come on, Tesla, why not double down on your new Plaid powertrain by offering a nice tartan upholstery package?
► 400bhp, 100mpg, 0-62 in 5.8seconds
► Swedish seven seater
► Frugal and fast - but not at the same time
Back when Elon Musk was merely known for crashing his McLaren F1 and Jeff Bezos was a bookseller, Volvos were safe and sturdy cars made for ferrying around your offspring.
Fast forward to today and the brand has evolved into a stylish desirable car marque that no longer just trades off being the safest around.
Keep hitting the fast forward button and you'll see that a new Volvo XC90 is due in 2021. It'll be a hybrid and EV only affair.
With this in mind - is the XC90 worth buying still? Or should people wait for the new car?
The best hybrid SUVs - on CAR
The XC90 T8 hybrid, or Recharge for short, is the most expensive, cleanest, frugalist, and quickest car of the XC90 range. Its raison d'etre is that it's a seven-seat plug-in hybrid - something of a rarity still.
It's aimed at the middle classes who can't quite commit to a fully-electric car, but still want the tax breaks and street cred associated with one.
While there's also a hint of the Q-car about it. Lovers of stealthy performance cars will be salivating at the thought of a 2.3-tonne family-hauler cracking the 0-62mph sprint in less than six seconds.
A 400bhp, £60k Volvo hybrid with a crystal gear selector
Expensive, fast, stylish and beautifully crafted, it’s a standard-bearer for the Swedish marque in its assault on the premium establishment, a move that’s being met with more success than Volvo dared hope.
The XC90 uses Volvo’s SPA scalable product architecture. It also underpins the S90 saloon and V90 estate, while the chassis was designed from the outset to package electric powertrains. In the T8 a petrol engine in the nose drives the front wheels via an eight-speed auto gearbox. A generator sandwiched between the two rapidly cranks the petrol engine into life, boosts torque and charges the battery as required.
The cells, housed in the central tunnel a propshaft normally calls home, feed a large single electric motor on the rear axle that also generates electricity under braking. A control unit in the engine bay synchronises the two power sources, ensuring happy, efficient collaboration and all-wheel drive when required.
Does the XC90 Recharge feel 400bhp fast?
Not quite – think effortless performance rather than unlikely dragster. Mash the throttle to the carpet in Power mode and the T8 launches pretty smartly, the battery pouring power into the electric motor as the turbocharged and supercharged direct-injection 2.0-litre four slogs its guts out. As a performance powertrain it’s undoubtedly effective, the claimed 5.8sec 0-62mph feeling entirely believable, but the car’s not inconsequential weight (2343kg) blunts performance.
This kind of heavy-footed tomfoolery also feels pretty inappropriate, not because the chassis can’t cope – far from it – but because the petrol engine’s strains lack charm, shattering the XC90’s otherwise very endearing serenity. Volvo insists a more sonorous higher cylinder count would have been incompatible both with the firm’s product architecture and the wants of environmentally responsible consumers. Certainly the four-cylinder engine contributes much to the T8’s headline figures of 63-76g/km of CO2 and 83.1-100.9mpg on the combined cycle, though, after running one for six months, we can safely say the latter is an almost impossible figure.
The obscene three-figure MPG rating is synonymous with the plug-in hybrid car. We reckon if you charged religiously, and never drove more than 100 or so miles, the figure might be someway achievable. But the real hindrance to the XC90 is that when the battery is bereft of charge, you're realistically looking at a sub 30mpg car.
Volvo quotes an official electric range of 31 miles, but with day-to-day mixed driving expect more like 20.
Back to the drive modes. It's better to select the Hybrid and trade a little of Power’s throttle response and poke for improved economy and some far more agreeable peace and quiet. Either way the integration of electric and petrol power is almost seamless. At smaller throttle openings the petrol engine chiming in and out is almost undetectable, and the brake pedal is similarly well resolved, passing through the regenerative phase and into hydraulic braking with no discernible shift in resistance.
The usual PHEV functionality ensures a good degree of control: choose Pure mode to use only electric, select Braking on the gear selector for stronger regenerative braking on downhill runs, or even a lower gear for increased engine braking; use the instrument display or the dead-spot in the throttle pedal’s travel to stay on electric power, rather than accidentally triggering the petrol engine’s assistance.
High-rise limo or lively steer?
Air-suspended XC90s deliver an impressive drive, blending a cosseting ride with impressive body control. Appropriately there’s a little initial roll before the outer air struts take up the slack, lending the 5m-long seven-seater the wieldy feel of something much smaller and lighter.
Conventionally sprung XC90s manage a good impression of the same body control but lose a good deal of the ride quality, occasionally running out of answers on the kind of weather-beaten roads the UK does so well. So budget for the air suspension, which also drops the rear of the car by 50mm on demand for the easy loading of heavy furniture and arthritic dogs.
Back to that crystal gear selector
Curious timbers, machined aluminium and acres of beige leather don’t sound too promising but, almost irrespective of colour choice, the XC90’s is one of the finest interiors out there, certainly in anything like a comparable price bracket.
Fit and finish are exemplary, the design striking in a very pleasing, understated way and the overall sense of light, space and uncluttered calm the perfect ally to the T8’s potential for 31 miles of near-silent pure electric transportation. Additional NVH work has banished much of the background chatter of fans and compressors a combustion engine’s machinations normally mask, leaving an impressive and luxurious absence of noise.
Although the heating/cooling functions are controlled via the car's touchscreen. Which is annoying and fiddly on the move. Turning the heated seats on to their full power requires three stabs at the screen, for instance. And we can't help but the crystal gear selector is a bit...much.
The XC90 is fundamentally a very fine SUV, and the hybrid powertrain has much to recommend it, not least the tax breaks afforded by its miserly CO2 output. While obviously 400bhp means it shifts like a V8.
However, for most people a diesel-engined XC90 delivers comparable if not superior economy, particularly if the battery’s never charged from the grid (50% of its existing PHEV owners don’t, according to Volvo) but the T8’s potential for both lunging bouts of acceleration and silent electric running is hugely attractive. Much like the car itself.
Since being launched, other manufacturers have caught up by offering plug-in hybrid SUVs. Audi, Range Rover, and BMW all have these in their arsenal - and all are newer too. Yet, the XC90 still delivers in being devastatingly fast and handsome, and nowhere near as audacious and flashy as them.