As has been known for some time, Volvo’s future lineup—starting with the all-new 2016 XC90—will come powered exclusively by engines with no more than four cylinders. However, in order to match the performance of rivals, Volvo will equip its cars with turbocharging and hybrid technology.
The most potent of Volvo’s next-generation powertrains can be found in the T8 variant of the new XC90 SUV, which combines a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and electric motor to form a plug-in hybrid setup. The engine powers the front wheels while the electric motor powers the rear pair.
Now we have an idea of how the system will performance. According to Volvo, peak output of the XC90 T8 is a V-8-like 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to get the seven-seat SUV moving from 0-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds. And when it comes to fuel efficiency, Volvo says owners can expect 59 MPGe for the combined cycle.
The system offers up five different modes that driver can select from: Hybrid, Pure Electric, Power, AWD and Save. The Hybrid mode is the vehicle’s default setting and is ideal for everyday use. It automatically selects which powerplants to use (engine, motor or both) to deliver the best overall fuel consumption.
AWD mode leaves the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system permanently on. With this mode switched off, the vehicle can switch to a two-wheel-drive mode to help boost efficiency. Finally, there is the Save mode, which will maintain a level of charge in the vehicle’s battery so that electric only driving can be chosen on demand.
The new XC90 goes on sale next spring. This T8 variant will be joined in U.S. showrooms by a T6 model. This will come with the same supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine fitted to the T8 but without the electric motor. Output of this model will be 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and drive will go to all four wheels via a conventional mechanical all-wheel-drive setup.