Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid to Get Four Hundred Horsepower
Battery Tech, Advanced Safety Features Enhance New XC90
We’ve heard few details about the Volvo XC90 T8 before, but today, Sweden threw us a bone. The company's range-topping SUV will come with the same 318hp supercharged and turbocharged 2.0L I-4 engine as the standard XC90 T6, but it adds a rear-mounted electric motor for an additional 82 hp, for a combined power output of 400 magnificent horses and 472 lb-ft of torque.
The T8 Twin Engine should be a pretty spry performer, given the new XC90’s significant weight loss program. Volvo estimates the T8 will reach 60 mph in less than six seconds, and it has an electric-only range of 25 miles from its 65kW battery. The company says the T8 should hit 59 MPGe when driven efficiently. It’s amazing that we live in a world where a hybrid luxury SUV is quicker than the supercars of 25 years ago.
As on the upcoming Tesla Model X, the XC90 T8’s battery pack is mounted low, which will help preserve handling in spite of the model’s expected weight gain. With through-the-road all-wheel drive (the electric motor works through the rear wheels only), Volvo says the XC90's stability systems will be able to precisely portion torque where it needs to go for optimum handling and grip. Additionally, all XC90s come equipped with Volvo’s excellent suite of safety features, which will help drivers keep their fancy SUVs shiny-side-up, and in the event of an accident, we’ve no doubt the new XC90 will protect its passengers as well as anything else on the market.
Volvo recently demonstrated one of the XC90’s new safety systems at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre. The XC90’s run-off road protection system helps prevent and mitigate back and neck injuries in the event that the vehicle leaves the roadway. The company showed off its dramatic test method for journalists last week.
As soon as the vehicle detects that it is leaving an elevated road (like a highway or freeway), the system automatically retracts the seatbelts to keep passengers firmly in place, where they will be safest. To reduce spinal injuries when the XC90 comes back into contact with the ground, spring-like elements in each of the seat mounts cushion the blow.
Curiously, Volvo safety expert Anders Axelson came up with the idea during a visit to Legoland with his daughters. He noticed that the jostling and bouncing that make roller coasters so fun are similar to what can make off-highway crashes so dangerous. The system will be standard on all 2015 XC90s.