Volvo Spills Details On XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid SUV – Pricing Released, Order Books Open

DEC 9 2014 BY MARK KANE 46

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo Cars presented general specifications for the upcoming Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, which is called “world’s most powerful and cleanest 7-seat SUV“.

The latest Swedish plug-in hybrid was recently shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show and attracted a lot of interest. Volvo states that in XC90 T8 Twin Engine, you will not find compromises in performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space.

Order book were recently opened for this PHEV SUV. In the UK, prices would seem to start under £60,000, while in Germany pricing is from 76,705 (including tax, without any incentives). This translates to some $94,000 (ouch!), but the actual U.S. price will probably be less as cars are typically cheaper in the States than in Europe perhaps around $70,000-$75,000?).

Update (hat tip to Etienne): The Volvo T8 PHEV has been priced at $73,400 (base R-Design) and $75,000 for the Inscription model in Canada.  US pricing expected shortly.

Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group stated:

“The XC90 T8 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one. The Drive-E engines already offer highly competitive performance versus the competition. The T8 takes it further into a leading position.”

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is based on the new modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform. Electric motors and internal combustion engine in total have 400 hp and 640 Nm of torque, which is enough to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds.

Electric motors seems to be supplied by Siemens.

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Driver can use one of the five driving modes using either a scroll wheel on the center console or a touchscreen on the dashboard:

Hybrid: This is the default mode, suitable for everyday use. Here, the vehicle will automatically alternate between drawing power from the 2-litre, 4-cylinder Drive-E engine and the electric motor to deliver the best overall fuel consumption.

Pure electric: In this mode, when the high-voltage battery is fully charged, it serves as the car’s sole energy source, powering the electric motor over the rear axle. The XC90 T8 has a range of up to 25 miles using just electricity, which covers the total distance most people drive in one day. And thanks to the regenerative braking system, this mode is super-efficient in the stop-and-go traffic of city environments. If more power is needed, the Drive-E combustion engine starts up automatically.

Power mode: Here, drivers get the combined performance of the combustion engine and the electric motor. On start-up, the SUV takes advantage of the electric motor’s superior response and instant torque curve, while the combustion engine gets up to speed. This combination offers better torque at lower revs, equivalent to that of a large displacement engine like the V8.

AWD: This mode offers constant all-wheel drive on demand. The advantage of being able to select AWD manually is that the driver can use it when needed, or choose to save energy for later.

Save: If the battery is charged, this mode allows the driver to “freeze” the battery level and save it for later use with Pure Electric drive. On the other hand, if the battery is low, the driver can use the combustion engine to charge the battery to a certain level for later use with Pure Electric drive.

9.2 kWh battery pack is large enough to offer up to 40 km (25 miles) in the pure electric mode under NEDC conditions (expect less in the real world).

Electric motor (60 kW/82 hp, 240 Nm of torque) propels the rear wheels, while most of the job rests on the 318 hp and 400 Nm of torque ICE in the front (combined with 8-speed automatic gearbox and 34 kW crankshaft-mounted starter generator (CISG).

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Crank ISG

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Crank ISG

Drive-E engine

A specially modified version of the 4-cylinder Drive-E petrol engine is under the hood. Already known for its ability to more efficiently deliver the power of an engine twice its size, the Drive-E engine is enhanced in the XC90 T8 by a supercharger and a turbocharger for a total power output of 318hp and 400Nm torque.

Automatic gearbox

The 8-speed automatic gearbox has also been specially adapted for the hybrid: shift-by-wire technology allows drivers to control the transmission electrically (a luxurious touch is the gearshift is made of handmade Swedish crystal). A larger oil pump provides the necessary lubrication during electric drive and enables quicker pressure build-up when seamlessly going from electric to combustion drive.


The crankshaft-mounted starter generator (CISG), located between the engine and the gearbox, performs three important functions: it is a powerful, 34kW starter motor that allows the car to go from pure electric drive to combination combustion drive seamlessly, so drivers can experience the car’s petrol engine and electric motor as one unit; it is also a powerful electric generator; and finally, it acts as an electric engine booster, working with the supercharger and turbocharger when extra power is needed, providing up to 150 Nm of extra torque.

Rear electric motor

Delivering 82hp (60kW) and 240Nm torque, the large electric motor sits on the rear axle and drives the back wheels in electric and power-boost modes. The rear placement is significant because it allows for a larger motor, which is useful for following stop-and-go city traffic rhythms. This placement also makes efficient all-wheel drive possible because each axle has its own power source.

Two-step braking system

The XC90 T8 blended braking system partly uses brake-by-wire technology to recover and transmit energy back into the car, either to recharge the battery or for immediate use. The system is also equipped with a unique stability function that controls the amount of energy that may be safely regenerated.

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Integrated Electric Drive

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Integrated Electric Drive

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Integrated Electric Drive

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 – Integrated Electric Drive

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

Small battery pack is compact enough to not take any trunk or passenger space.


The high-voltage (270–400V) battery, delivering 65kW of power, is an excellent example of Volvo’s success with the XC90 T8. While other carmakers have struggled to combine the bulk of a battery pack with a luxurious and spacious interior, Volvo has managed to overcome this challenge by placing the battery centrally in the tunnel of the car. There are several advantages to this position. For example, the battery does not impact the amount of available space inside the car. This means that there is room for three rows of seats – plenty of space for people and luggage. Furthermore, the battery placement gives the SUV a low and central centre of gravity, making the XC90 T8 easier to handle and safer to drive.

Unique cooling and climate system

The unique cooling system is composed of two extra circuits. The first cools the CISG and the large electric motor on the rear axle, while the second cools the battery in one of two ways: either passively, via the radiator, or actively through integration with the car’s climate system.


For convenience and efficiency, drivers can pre-condition the XC90 T8’s drivetrain, battery and cabin, either directly from within the car or by using the Volvo On Call mobile app. This ensures that, whether it’s freezing or hot and humid outside, the car will be heated or cooled as necessary and ready to go by the time the driver enters. Pre-conditioning can be done while the car is plugged in, which is beneficial from a CO2 perspective since it ensures that the battery will last as long as possible in Pure Electric Drive mode.

A heritage of innovation

As the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV, the XC90 T8 joins a long list of Volvo Cars innovations designed to create a more comfortable driving experience, a cleaner environment and safer roads.

Here is the spec list:

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

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46 Comments on "Volvo Spills Details On XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid SUV – Pricing Released, Order Books Open"

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Sorry, but what american is going to pay $80k for a volvo (plug-in or not). Volvo is closer to a entry-level-luxury brand like Acura or Infiniti rather than Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. I don’t think the brand is strong enough to support that price point.

I agree for the US. However in Europe they sell really well. The V60 PHEV has been selling at the $85k range for the past three years.

Not sure if your correct, around here a Volvo can be found in the driveways of many affluent homes. Its known as the luxury car for those who don’t want to advertise quite how affluent they are.

The only Automaker with a lower brand equity than Volvo is Isuzu.

They don’t advertise wealth in the US because they don’t cost $70k plus.

There are lots of wealthy people that drive a Prius. Does not mean you can sell a significant amount of Prius at $70k.

See Mirai.

I can believe that. I’ve seen quite a few V60 PHEVs here in Germany (even more when I’ve ventured into France and Sweden).

It could be a nice waiting car for rich wannabe Model X owners.

This car will revise the appraisal of Volvo as a brand. I had an opportunity to spend some time in it at the LA Auto show. It’s a very good car.

Like everyone, I’d like to see more AER and faster charge. But it fits the use case for a whole lot of commuters to drive on electric only and will be the cheapest to operate SUVo n the market. That offsets a lot of the cost.

I’ll b adding one to the Electric Car Guest Drive asap.

As unexciting as the total EV range is, vehicles like this are HUGE gateway drugs to greater percentages of EV range which simultaneously boost average MPGs by leaps and bounds for most drivers. The real challenge is offerigns like this coming in at the highest end of rhe price point for these vehicles which will always limit their adoption. Still, much like Merc debuts cools stuff in the S class and then itr trickles down, we will likely see similar offerings in cheaper, less luxury oriented SUVs, ec. As for us, we have a Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design and a T8 version of that smaller SUV would be an awesome replacement in a few years.

In Canada the T8 begin at 73,400$ as per volvo press realase.

So it should be less then that in the US.

Agreed. $73400 for the T8 PHEV R-Design, and $75000 for the “Inscription” model (Canadian Dollars). I’d expect US pricing in the low 60s.

What is amazing is that in the less worse condition of 16 Amp at 230 V, it takes two and a half hour to charge only 25 miles. The other cases are even worse and there doesn’t seem to be the option of 400 V. That’s just green washing just like the Plug-in Prius.

Absolutely! How many times do you park your vehicle for a whole two hours? LOL

Given the size of the battery, 120v 12a charging would be perfectly fine for everyone but the 1% whackos who think you need a bazooka to shoot flies.

One would have at least expect that the low 25 miles would have been compensated by the ability to recharge it very fast, but no you get the 25 miles and the super slow charging as an extra. Great.

Because when I drive from DC to Boston, I don’t want to wait too long to charge, when I stop every 25 miles to charge? The electric only is for short trips, no one takes short trips to high speed chargers … there just aren’t that many of them …

Why would it need to charge at 400 volts when 230 is sufficient for under a 3680 watt charger?

16 amps is allowed in almost all European countries, therefore a low single phase charging voltage is fine and requires no changes if taken to the states and vice-versa.

I would expect that VOLVO does have Mennekes ports available for the purists amoungst its customers.

Well otherwise it is like getting a gasoline car with a one gallon tank and a dropper to fill it.

Its ‘Grid-Friendly’ since it charges at the same rate as the VOLT, another car whose charger you don’t like.

I’d vote for a 2x bigger battery before I’d vote for a 2x bigger charger.

AS GM says, when the battery runs out you are supposed to use the “MEGACHARGER”.

Oh golly, a Volvo Volt SUV…

Not enough range for me but it’s an interesting offering. Nice to see so many offerings that will work for a variety of people.

I wonder when somebody will come out with a Plug-in SUV that people can afford and is not a compliance car.

BYD Tang. 🙂

In theory that will be the Outlander PHEV. I’m thinking it’ll run $45k to $52.5k before incentives.
Not cheap by any stretch
but after incentives and monthly gas savings it’s very doable.

Id LOVE to be surprised by a $39k price tag but it’s doubtful

@$300/kwh, this battery cost $2,760 to put in a $73,400 SUV. The marginal cost for adding kwh would be even less.

It’s one thing to hound economy PHEV makers to give a real 40 miles of range, but the $50,000 – 135,000 luxury car space???

It’s a check, for an extra $5,000+, or no check, at all.

If the electric range covered your usual daily driving, it might be a nice option. Like a volt but much bigger with AWD. Or comparing from the higher end, much cheaper than Model X and you don’t need to find charging when you go on a trip out of town. Could be a market for this, not enough electric range for me though, I need 100km even in winter.

I like this a lot. Nicely appointed and (most certainly) considerably cheaper than a base Model X. But I’m a Volt owner, so what would you expect, right? I just care about saving gas.

Agreed- when you drive a Volt you realize you don’t really need a huge Model X (or S) to save gas. I’m on my 2nd volt (total 35K miles- 33K electric) and have been waiting for a plug-in SUV. The Model X doesn’t work for me because even with the Supercharging locations I can’t get to the slopes without a mandatory stop on a Friday and Sunday night to charge. Not gonna do that in the Bay area.

Now I just need to decide between the fun Macan Turbo on order order this practical Volvo plug-in.

The attitude that the pack is too small is counterproductive. The only thing that matters is that vehicles like this are popular. The more popular they are the faster the EV components decline in cost and the quicker they get smaller. If this vehicle is popular the next generation will have a larger battery pack and more powerful electric motor.

Also if the battery costs fall enough in 5 years one might be able to trade in this pack for one with twice capacity that is the same size.

Nice. I’m sure they will sell dozens of them every year.

A big determination on how many they will sell in CA is if it’s HOV complaint – Carpool lane access in an SUV (soccer mom or otherwise) would be a HUGE plus.

Nice car, but I can’t afford it.

It needs to be in the $50K in order to sell well.

Probably decent against BMW X5 PHEV.

Ok all you dudes who wanted a CrossVolt. This thing seats huge numbers of people, its not that expensive, and its kinda like a volt only faster with alot more Panache.

The Volt is extremely popular in these parts…. Much more so than Nationwide, and litterally 100 times more popular than the Leaf.

I’d therefore expect to see many, many of these is Western NY, since its rather like a Swedish VOlt.

CrossVolt would have a far higher market penatration than this.

I want more affordable SUV PHEV so I can replace my 20mpg SUV…

So, how much of the federal tax incentive will this vehicle receive? If it isn’t the whole amount, it would seem short sighted.

Maybe the problem is more the availability of batteries. You know, Musk’s push to build that giant battery plant seems to have more and more validity. Now every time I hear about Ford or BMW or someone building a 200 mile BEV, I first wonder where they’re gonna get the batteries.

Decided to look it up and do the calculation. $2500 plus $417 for the first 5 kWhr, plus $417 for every KWhr after the first 5. $2500 + $417 + $417 x 4 = $4585. For another 6.8 kWh, one would get the whole $7500, and a chunk more range.

BTW – 25 miles on 9.2 kWhr sounds like a lot for a big vehicle like this.

And 82 HP on the electric motor is going to make for anemic all electric driving.

I like the looks and the interior. I think it will be a good gateway SUV on the way to all electric.

Having driven a Leaf for close to a year now, I would prefer to stay all electric. Perhaps Nissan or someone else will come out with a affordable ~150 AER SUV in the next 1-2 years.

Yeah, I’ve been waiting for the next 1-2 years for the past 4 years now. It looks like some big names are finally testing the waters. Of course, that will keep some friendly pressure on the VOlt, so that GM doesn’t get any crazy ideas like discontinuing it or something.

Ford got rid of all its big cars, and all its nice mercurys, and now they can’t understand why people don’t want to pay a premium for their ford/lincolns.

I can hear it now: “We dressed up the dude like Lincoln, and we had him playing with his fingers, so Why in tarnation ain’t the things selling?”.


who the hell is gonna spend 80k on this ROFL

Electric Car Guest Drive

You have not seen this car. I drive a Model S. I will buy the Volvo XC90 T8. It’s that good. (going to hang on to my S, naturally).

“US pricing expected shortly.”

Any update on US pricing?

..not yet, but we’ll feature it out as soon as it does you can be sure, (=

Thanks Jay. Wife was asking…

This thing has 5 EV modes and still doesn’t have the one I would want: “recharge mode” where you can use the engine to recharge the battery if you so desire. So far the Honda Accord PHEV is the only one with this feature. IMHO there need to be more PHEVs with this feature.

I’m surprised to see all of the hate! It’s one of the first of it’s kind to come to market- and actually make it to market! Of course there will be room for improvement. But at least it’s available.
The point is- it’s a start. More will follow, improvements will happen, and I feel like I’ve been getting grey hairs waiting for the Model X to come out. (Heck, I probably won’t be able to afford one anyways when they finally do!) That being said, my daily commute is 22.6 miles (11.3 each way city driving) so theoretically I could dump my current 20 mpg station wagon for something my husband would enjoy us owning AND rock all electric for my daily commute. The front end styling is definitely a move in the right direction for Volvo…
Here’s hoping the pricing comes out closer to 60k. Beats the pants off of the clunker I’m driving now!

Where is the interior photo of the trunk?
Many PHEV’s have compromised interior space.
Demand comparative specifications & photo’s of the interior.

Back space looks pretty big. The batter is at the center of the XC90 and under the cabin… not flat like Tesla but below the passengers…