Johannesburg – the all-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is now available in South Africa. The flagship of the local XC90 range, the new XC90 T8 Twin Engine brings Volvo Cars’ new electrification strategy to South African roads for the first time.
“With the new XC90 T8 Twin Engine we are rewriting what is possible for plug-in hybrid vehicles,” says Volvo Car South Africa Managing Director, Greg Maruszewski.
“Combining electric power and our turbo- and supercharged Drive-E powertrain with ultimate seven-seat SUV practicality and comfort, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine exudes class, sophistication and Swedish luxury while providing incomparable levels of fuel economy and ultra-low carbon emissions. Built on our Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, its full seven-seat configuration has been retained with no real impact on passenger or luggage space, while the power available from its petrol and electric engines bestows it with exceptional performance and efficiency.”
With its two engines, total power output is 300 kW, with 640 Nm of torque on hand – yet average combined-cycle fuel economy is as low as 2.1-litres per 100 km. Carbon emissions are just 49 g/km.
Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Volvo Car Group, Dr Peter Mertens, expands: “There are no compromises when you drive the all-new XC90 T8 Twin Engine – in the past you could either have power or low emissions. But with the all-new XC90 T8 Twin Engine you can have both.
“We have been working hard to earn our competitive edge and to give our customers the ultimate combination of performance and low fuel consumption. Our Twin Engine technology has enabled us to build on our heritage of efficient powertrain development in a completely new way. Thanks to SPA and our world-class four-cylinder engines, we have a clear and leading position.”
Two engines for twice the character
The all-wheel drive XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is, as its name suggests, powered by two engines.
A conventional internal combustion setup is employed up front, with the award-winning 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo- and supercharged Volvo Drive-E petrol engine powering the front wheels, providing 235 kW and 400 Nm via Volvo’s 8-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox.
The rear wheels are powered by the Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) system, which sees an electric motor fed by a 9.2 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack for an additional and on-demand 65 kW and 240 Nm. It not only integrates seamlessly with the internal combustion engine, but also bestows the XC90 T8 Twin Engine with a pure-electric range of up to 43 km.
Accompanying the Twin Engine setup, a Crank-Integrated Starter Generator (CISG), located between the engine and the gearbox, performs three important functions. First, it is a powerful 34 kW starter motor which allows the car to alternate seamlessly between pure electric and hybrid driving. Secondly, it acts as a powerful electric generator to recharge the battery pack, and thirdly as an electric engine-booster, working with the supercharger and turbocharger when extra power is needed, providing up to 150 Nm of extra torque.
The resulting fuel economy and carbon emissions, according to European plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) regulations, is world-beating – the XC90 T8 Twin Engine is able to consume from as little as 2.1-litres per 100 km and emit just 49 g/km CO2.
Charging made simple and easy
The XC90 T8 Twin Engine can be charged at any earthed, two-pin Schuko-type power outlet in South Africa, without the need for a costly charging station to be installed at the owner’s home or office. Should it be required, a Schuko adapter can be easily installed at very low cost by any certified electrician.
With a maximum current of 13 amperes, the supplied charging cable, transformer (230V AC to 400V DC) and connector is able to fully-charge the battery pack, from flat, in as little as three hours – conveniently short for a minimum of impact in the owner’s day-to-day activities. Adjustability on the transformer allows the owner to lower or raise the output, from 6 to 13 amps, depending on power consumption requirements – although even at full capacity, there is no noticeable impact on standard household electricity demand or output. At current electricity prices, a full charge costs as little as R20.
For added safety, the charge cable includes an integrated circuit breaker, temperature sensor and power monitor.
The charging port, located on the front left fender of the vehicle, is easy to operate and fitted with an LED indicator – supplemented by a charging status display in the car’s digital instrument cluster, which indicates the estimated remaining charge time. It also features a locking mechanism for the charge connector to ensure a tamper-proof charging environment.
Super-luxurious tech also available
Some of the all-new XC90’s highlights are available as optional extras:
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Pilot Assist is able to bring enjoyment and relaxation to the drive by allowing the XC90 T8 Twin Engine to control part of the journey. ACC is able to manage acceleration and braking (lead vehicle required), even bringing the XC90 to a complete stop. Pilot Assist goes even further by taking over complete steering control at speeds up to 50 km/h, provided a lead vehicle and clear lane markings are present. Later in 2016, Pilot Assist II will be available as standard on all XC90 derivatives, with the upgrade adding the ability to run up to 130 km/h and without the need for a lead vehicle.
The optional 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system is undoubtedly one of the XC90’s most prized features. Expertly designed for the XC90, this premium sound system provides exceptionally clear and crisp audio with three specialised Sound Experience modes for ultimate audio enjoyment – including acoustic replication of the famous Gothenburg Concert Hall in Sweden.
Air suspension is also available as an optional extra, transforming the XC90’s ride comfort with adaptable settings optimised for performance, comfort and off-roading.