Move Over Tesla Model X – Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid To Be World’s Cleanest, Most Powerful SUV

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 52

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Volvo Concept XC Reveal

Volvo Concept XC Reveal

Look out Tesla, there’s a true Model X competitor coming sooner than you think.  Like even sooner than the Model X will arrive.

Volvo has just announced that its all-new XC90 will become the “world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV” when it launches later this year.  That title likely won’t be held for long, as the Model X will surely be cleaner.  Too bad it’s not launching until 2015.

Volvo Cars’ all-new XC90 will be the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV

• All-wheel drive, seven seats and ultra-low emissions of around 60g/km

• Up to 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque

• New Volvo-developed Twin Engine technology

Per Volvo:

Volvo Cars’ all-new XC90 will offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation when it is launched later this year. The all-wheel drive seven seater offers drivers up to 400 horsepower but with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). There has never been an SUV offering this level of power this cleanly.

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV Twin Engine T8

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV Twin Engine T8

How will Volvo achieve this level of power so cleanly?  The answer is the Volvo XC90 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid dubbed the T8:

For the all-new XC90, the top of the range ‘Twin Engine’ will carry the badge ‘T8’ and be a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one.

Normal driving is conducted in the default hybrid mode. This utilises a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine that powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor that drives the rear wheels.

It uses the supercharger to fill in the bottom end of the power range to give the engine a big, naturally-aspirated feel, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up. The electric motor on the rear wheels provides immediate torque.

But at the push of a button the driver can switch to quiet and emission-free city driving on pure electric power where the range will be around 40 kilometres, and then, when needed, immediately revert back to the combined capacity of the petrol engine and electric motor, with its combined output of around 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque.

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Sadly, we don’t yet have pricing information on the plug-in hybrid XC90, but we do know that it’ll go up to approximately 25 miles under electric power alone.

We expect to receive more details (including full exterior images) on this game-changing plug-in hybrid Volvo SUV nearer to its launch date of the end of 2014.

Official: Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV to Launch Globally in Late 2014

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUV

Full Volvo XC90 press release below:

Volvo Cars’ all-new XC90 will be the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV

• All-wheel drive, seven seats and ultra-low emissions of around 60g/km

• Up to 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque

• New Volvo-developed Twin Engine technology

Volvo Cars’ all-new XC90 will offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation when it is launched later this year. The all-wheel drive seven seater offers drivers up to 400 horsepower but with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). There has never been an SUV offering this level of power this cleanly.

“There are no compromises when you drive an all-new XC90,” said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “In the past you could either have power or low CO2 emissions. But with the all-new XC90 you can have both.”

The new XC90 offers a range of Drive-E engine options, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency. The main distinguishing feature of the Drive-E engine range is that they are all four-cylinder engines.

“With our new Drive-E powertrains, we have created a family of intelligent petrol and diesel engines with power curves that give exciting driveability at the same time as delivering world-beating fuel economy,” added Dr. Mertens. “With seven people in the new XC90, carbon dioxide emissions per person and kilometre are outstandingly low.”
The all-new Volvo XC90 Twin Engine – T8 badge

The CO2 performance of the all-new XC90 will reinforce Volvo Cars’ leadership when it comes to bringing more environmentally-sound technologies to market. According to figures monitored by European car industry association ACEA, Volvo Car Group delivered an industry-leading reduction of average fleet emissions by 8.4 per cent from 2012 to 2013.

Twin Engine technology

Volvo Cars has made it possible for a four-cylinder engine to provide all the driving pleasure associated with a much larger engine and do so far more efficiently and cleanly. Drive-E engines will over time be introduced across Volvo’s entire range.

For the all-new XC90, the top of the range ‘Twin Engine’ will carry the badge ‘T8’ and be a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one.

Normal driving is conducted in the default hybrid mode. This utilises a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine that powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor that drives the rear wheels.

It uses the supercharger to fill in the bottom end of the power range to give the engine a big, naturally-aspirated feel, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up. The electric motor on the rear wheels provides immediate torque.

But at the push of a button the driver can switch to quiet and emission-free city driving on pure electric power where the range will be around 40 kilometres, and then, when needed, immediately revert back to the combined capacity of the petrol engine and electric motor, with its combined output of around 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque.

Full range of other engine options

The Volvo XC90 range also includes the D5 twin turbo diesel engine with 225 hp, 470 Nm, best in class fuel consumption of around 6l/100 km and the D4 turbo diesel engine with 190 hp, 400 Nm and a fuel consumption of around 5l/100 km.

The range also offers two petrol engine options. The first is a T6 turbo engine with supercharger and turbo with 320 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. The second is a T5 with 254 hp and 350 Nm.

Not only is there no compromise in terms of performance or efficiency, but Volvo Cars’ new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) chassis technology also allows for far more flexibility inside the car. Other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, something that Volvo has managed to overcome.

“Since our new SPA technology is designed from the start to accommodate electrification technologies, the Twin Engine installation does not compromise luggage or passenger space,” said Dr. Mertens.

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52 responses to "Move Over Tesla Model X – Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid To Be World’s Cleanest, Most Powerful SUV"

  1. IDK says:

    Too bad the Volvo XC90 has an engine…I’ll pass. Tesla Model X will be WAY better.

  2. Tim says:

    On all electric mode, power will be anemic. Pitiful, actually.

    1. Brian says:

      Yes, it is a plug-in hybrid. It is not a electric vehicle. Many people here seem to poo-poo the idea of a PHEV, but I choose to celebrate each and every car with a plug (yes, even the PiP 😉 )

      I do wonder about performance when the battery charge is depleted, though.

      1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Technology has moved on. The anemic PHEV whose batteries are too small to allow for adequate electric-only power should be considered in the same light as GM’s lame mild hybrids of ~2007.

        Granted, those mild hybrids served a purpose, and electrification of all accessories in and of itself is an efficiency and reliability win. Still, companies can do so much better, and they just don’t. It’s depressing.

        1. Brian says:

          Yes and no. Battery technology hasn’t come very far in the past 3-4 years, although I suspect we are due soon for a “step change”.

          I’m not convinced that these companies CAN do “so much better”. Most automakers didn’t even have EVs on their radar 5 years ago, and it takes time to develop a new drive train. Let them get their feet wet so they are ready to take advantage of that step change if/when it comes.

    2. Mint says:

      So what? You hit the pedal, you get instant torque from the motor for 0-20mph while the gas motor fires up, and then you have another 300+hp to bring you up to 70mph. After that you cruise on 100% electric.

      EV purists need to stop being so irrational. PHEVs can cut out 60-90% of gas usage or even more and are usable by the vast majority of new car buyers without an ounce of range anxiety or refueling time concerns.

      1. Brian says:

        +1

        In fact, most EVs are probably parked next to another car that does burn gas (such as my hybrid road-trip car). This disdain for anything with a gas engine goes too far at times. We should instead celebrate anything with a plug!

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        They are “irrational” by defintion since they are “purist”…

        But I agree that their attitude is NOT helping the EV community.

  3. Brian says:

    The wording of their press release leads me to believe that this car is cleaner than the Outlander PHEV. I know the Outlander is less powerful, but is the Volvo actually cleaner (in absolute terms)?

    Pretty cool that somebody is beating Tesla to the punch with a true 7-seater plug in (yes, I know the Model S has optional jump seats, but they aren’t meant for adults). Volvo’s high will likely be short-lived though since I highly doubt they will undercut the Model X in price by much (if at all).

    1. ggpa says:

      “I know the Outlander is less powerful”

      Better to call it a draw. Outlander has more power in EV mode, in gas mode the Volvo wins.

      Also it is too soon to start celebrating this, we do not know what battery size Volvo will have.

      1. Brian says:

        Sure, we could arbitrarily call it a draw based on artificially limiting a hybrid (by definition, a combination of two things) to only one of its two power sources. But that is missing the point – most people will simply get into their car and drive it. They will not drive around feathering the pedals to keep it in EV mode (again, MOST people, not all).

        As I said in a comment above, I choose to celebrate ANY car with a plug. I will do so regardless of the battery size.

      2. Mikael says:

        It’s never too late to celebrate an EV. There are 100 million cars sold every year, about 300 000 or 0,3% out of those will be EV’s this year.

        The journey has barely started and there is room for every plug-in model, especially in the SUV/CUV segment.

      3. Mikael says:

        Almost 200 hp more and 130 Nm more of torque. Sure, let’s call it a draw 😛 *lol*

        There is much much less difference between the XC90 and the Model S (6 hp and 140 Nm). Should it be a draw between those two models? 😉

  4. Nick M says:

    Yet another “watch out Tesla” headline. Coming from InsideEVs, I’m almost wondering if that particular choice of wording was meant as an ironic joke?

    For reference: http://teslamondo.com/2014/05/25/yipes-watch-out-tesla-move-over-tesla/

    1. ggpa says:

      No need to overthink this … insideevs likes to hype their headlines. I wish they would stop.

      1. Aaron says:

        Looking at the link above, I would say *EVERYONE* is hyping their headlines with the words “Look Out Tesla!”

  5. Breezy says:

    The current generation XC90 prices out at $62k in Canadian dollars in topline trim. If the MX comes close to Tesla’s price targets (jury still out), this Volvo will have a tough time in the market.

  6. mustang_sallad says:

    Looks like a fast charge port, following Mitsubishi’s lead in offering fast charging on a relatively short range PHEV. Personally I would probably just burn some gas on long trips rather than stop every 25 miles, but hey, it’s just a couple extra wires and contactors.

    1. Mike I says:

      What “looks like a fast charge port”? The picture of the plugged-in charge port is almost certainly the European Type-2 (Mennekes) plug. It is physically a little larger than the J1772 plug and handle.

      1. mustang_sallad says:

        Ah yes, you’re right. My bad, I thought the bulge on the lower part of the coupler was for the DC pins, but I see that’s part of the standard connector, and that the DC pins on the combo type 2 connector bulge out way more.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    More cars with plugs is good. No doubt about that.

    However… I have to wonder about how often the higher priced PHEVs will be driven on electrons vs. liquid fuel. I know that many Volt owners are bordering on fanatical about minimizing their use of gasoline, and I applaud them for it. But will owners of this Volvo and other high-buck PHEVs do the same? And how will their diligence about plugging in decline over time? My hunch is that Volt owners will be pretty good about continuing to live off the plug as much as possible, while the higher you go up the car price scale the quicker owners will cease to find the value in doing so.

    1. Brian says:

      Interesting question. It’s true that these owners will be much less likely to worry about the cost savings of electric versus gas. My hope would be that they would at least plug the car in every night. If they convert their first 25 miles of every day to electricity, it could still add up to a huge savings in gasoline. I guess the hope is based on the fact that the owner went out of their way to pay more for the plug-in version of the car. The only other reason to do so would be HOV access, but that will dry up again soon anyway.

    2. Mikael says:

      I can’t really imagine anyone buying a plug-in and not plug it in regularly. It’s just plain stupid 🙂
      At least not for cars that you will use on a daily basis (which means all plugins except some excentric cars like McLaren P1, BMW i8 etc).

  8. Mo says:

    25 miles EV is pathetic. What’s the point? The Outlander PHEV has 35-40 miles of EV.

    1. liberty says:

      Average leaf only goes 29 miles a day. If you go 15,000 miles a year, that averages 41 miles a day. 25 miles will save a lot of gas if it really goes that far 😉 We have to wait for the epa test to see how far it will really go.

    2. Mikael says:

      The 25 miles is real world numbers. The EPA rating will be (at least) 25 miles. I’m not sure the Outlander will get fully 25 miles in the EPA.

      I know it’s strange to do that, but Volvo actually gives you numbers that you can trust.

  9. leafer says:

    to little ev power and battery capacity

    fall 2015 at earliest for US release

    Volvo is scratching for headlines

    most of this article relates to the euro models.

  10. Looking forward to the math on this tittle … “Move Over Tesla Model X – Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid To Be World’s Cleanest SUV”

    Since when is a hybrid emitter be cleaner that zero emission powertrain? “Clean” Diesels, “Clean” SUVs … is like “Natural” label used on junk food, having no legal meaning per FDA. (ie: 100% fluff, 0% value) Got-a love the clean all-natural marketing folk. 😉

    1. Mikael says:

      Once Tesla presents the final Model X with specs and get it into production there will be no one taking the worlds cleanest powerful SUV title from it for a loooong time.

  11. I’m glad to see Volvo making a plug-in for the US market. Only 25 mile all-electric range means you have to keep it plugged in wherever you go, or you’re just driving another SUV with a $400/ month gas bill.

    Unless the price is substantially lower than the Model X, it will be a tough sell.

    By the time the Model X hits the market, there will be so many Superchargers in place that the gas hybrid is not really an advantage even for long road trips.

    In town, 265 mile range means you just never have to think about charging outside of your garage at night.

    Hard to overstate what an incredible competitive advantage the Supercharger network is for Tesla.

  12. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

    Yawn, yet another me-too hybrid that still guzzles gas. Kind of like the Subaru “Partial Zero Emissions” oxymoron. I was struck by their marketing of “twin engine” technology (which is actually pretty old – shutting down some cylinders). I can see the hack marketing guys sitting around the room – “yah suure, dahts eeet, tu engines. daht’s green”.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      PZEV is SULEV with zero evaporative emissions. Evaporative emissions were a significant problem with older gasoline cars and wasn’t something to sniff at.

  13. Tom 911 says:

    Price will be substantially lower than the Model X. Probably at least $30K less. Does anyone really thing the Model X is going to be reasonable? My guess is over $100K with only a few options. This Volvo is exactly the type of car I am looking for once my second Volt lease ends. Hooray.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      The Model X will start at ~$75k with an Average Selling Price in the first two years of ~$110k. The first people who bought Roadster and Model S tended to be the “fully loaded” types.

      Anyone looking at the Volvo will be able to order a Model X with Supercharger Access for ~$80k.

      1. Breezy says:

        Unless they want to tow something substantial like a camping trailer. For all its goodness, the Model X is most certainly going to come up short in this area. Towing kills range.

        The current XC90 is rated for 5000 lbs towing capacity.

  14. ffbj says:

    Yes, it, (sc network) did receive the innovation of the year award from some group. Also the savings on the cost of the energy increases as the vehicles increase in size.
    Misleading headlines are some much the norm now that I have downgraded them on my annoyance list. Otherwise I would be constantly annoyed.
    Now maybe they should have used counter intuitive thinking and had the headline read:
    New Volvo plug-in SUV not expected to challenge Tesla Model X.

    1. Brian says:

      “Volvo validates the electric SUV. Gives Tesla an easy target to beat.”

  15. EV says:

    No current automaker can make a better EV than Tesla.

    I dont even know if anyone can make a better car than Tesla, i dont see it happening LOL

  16. krona2k says:

    The more plugins the better, but Volvo are pricing their plugins very very high. Obviously Mitsubishi have done well with the Outlander but I believe someone could out-do the BMW i3. I think it’s a good concept and not really a bad price but if someone could do something like the REX version with a slightly bigger tank and maybe slightly smaller battery they could really be on to a winner if they can advertize it right.

    Personally I’m just going to wait for the Tesla Model 3.

  17. Fabian says:

    Uhhh, No. This is not a Model X competitor. It is not a Pure EV. Good Bye Big Oil.

    1. Tom 911 says:

      It is a Model X competitor for me. Driving up to the mountains to ski in a Model X is not going to work for me. There are no planned Superchargers on the Route (Highway 4 – CA) and a 110 overnight charge is not gong to get me to the slopes and back to a friends cabin for multiple days. I ran all the numbers and ranges but the Model X won’t do it. After 30K miles (28K all electric) in my Volts I’m still convinced a ‘non pure’ EV is the best route for SUV’s in the near term. Besides as much as I like the Tesla I don’t like the Falcon doors as it limits roof boxes, bike racks, etc. For me the Model S is too big and doesn’t fit my lifestyle and the Model X, although nice, isn’t going to cut it either. Give me this Volvo or something similar.

      1. Mike I says:

        If you’re driving Highway 4, I assume you’re going to Bear Valley. Tesla will be installing a SuperCharger in the Manteca area. That’s only 108 miles from Bear Valley. Add 50 miles of range for the elevation change and you’re still below 160 range miles. The Model X with a 85kWh battery should get more than 240 EPA miles of range. That will leave you with 80 miles of range left and you will use 40 miles less because you’re going downhill back to the SuperCharger. So, you could make it there and back without charging. Plugging in to a 110V outlet would give you more than 3 miles per hour of additional range, so for going back and forth to the slopes from a nearby cabin would be no problem.

        If you don’t like the style or the doors that’s a different matter. The range is not the problem.

        1. Tom 911 says:

          Great to hear an SC station coming to Manteca – hadn’t heard that. Only one stall ?

          http://www.evtripper.com says the following when driving to Dorrington from Cupertino (4533ft of elevation)

          – 221 miles used (66.4 kWh) driving to Dorrington with a Tesla S85 in winter with outside temp at 38 degrees (with limited payload at 201 lbs)

          – 38 miles used driving (10kWh) from Dorrington to Bear Valley / 10 miles used on return to Dorrington at 20 degrees. Total round trip = 48 miles used.

          So there is a need to stop in Manteca on a friday night trip up for a SC refuel. If not then the car gets plugged in at friends cabin (110v) upon arrival with only 40 miles remaining. each trip up to Mountain takes 40 miles and a charge takes of 12 hrs @ 110v only adds 40 miles.

          This is cutting it too close for me and means either a stop in Manteca with family in the car on Friday night (ugh) and/or constantly plugging in the car/SUV every night just to make it back and forth to ski slope.

          I’d rather has the gas engine back up like my Volt in the Volvo SUV. Commute 90% of the time on electric and use the gas/SUV capabilities about a dozen times a year for skiing, etc.

  18. Mikael says:

    This is the first model on the new SPA-platform which all models will move over to (except the smallest one, the 40-series of V40/S40/XC40 which don’t fit the platform)

    The 70-series and 80-series will be on the platform in 2015.

    50-series and 60-series in 2016.

    And then a new platform for the 40-series in 2017.

    What that means is that in 3 years you can get any Volvo as a plug-in hybrid. First you choose an engine and then you have the option of it being a PHEV or not.

  19. Gary says:

    This is good news. I don’t think the MX will be south of 100 grand. I think the question is, what will the Volvo PHEV price be. My 04 xc90 with 165K miles has been good. Present XC90’s go for 50-55 $K. Add $10K for PHEV, and we are a go. Sign me up.

    My other car is a BEV. BEV has a long way to go to do skiing for me. No SC stations in New Hampshire/Mass (under construction I know). Besides, guess how long the lines will be at those “pumps”?

  20. Jim says:

    Alot of people are hamming on Volvo for no reason at all.

    Infact, Volvo is the most efficient/power car brand in the world if you look at it.

    However, Volvo doesn’t get any headlines, which is sad, I think.

    Their Volvo s60 T5, a 250 hp sedan gets 30 (36 highway) mpg combined, remember, this car is a decently sized car with lots of power.

    I am sure if Volvo can get amazing numbers like that in a gas car. They can do something amazing like that in the XC90.

    Volvo has been doing EV, specifically PHEV research for more than a decade now.

    It’d be cool if this car used the KERS system.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Jim, people are hammering Volvo, because Volvo refuses to admit that electric cars are already today feasible. Tesla is falsifying the very existence of Volvo and Volvo refuses to admit this.

  21. Jouni Valkonen says:

    And still again Volvo behaves like there was no Tesla and electric revolution in the existence.

    Tesla X’s AWD will blow people’s minds and it will prove that it is utterly ridiculous to offer electric cars without AWD.

    1. Mikael says:

      Ehum… how many pure EV’s are being sold in Finland? Where is that revolution? 😉

      Oh wait, the Volvo V60 plug-in is the second best selling EV in Finland with 19(!) units sold (up until April).
      And… which EV is the all time top seller? Hmm, it’s the Volvo V60 plug-in, by a huge margin (in percent, not in cars obviously ;)).

      How about you start to buy some EV’s before you talk big?

  22. Sin Gas says:

    I would love to buy a Tesla MX, but. If I am going to plunk north of a hundred grand on a car, it better either have superchargers on Rt 93 so I get from my summer home to my winter home or my CEO is going to be very unhappy. It has to have a range better than the MS, or the Volvo PHEV is my best option. If I have to stop and recharge overnight for a 200 mile trip–its not even a starter. Remember, there is considerable elevation gain and the temps in the winter are low. According to evtripper, my trip takes 80.2 kWh, the car only has 85, and I am not sure that’s all usable. No body does it better than Tesla. Also, all those folks from NY, NJ, and CT who want to go skiing in the mountains, have a similar problem.

    If both were available today, and I had to buy today, it would have to be the XC90.

    Sin Gas

  23. Brent says:

    Sign me up for a xc60 hybrid…xc90 just too big.