Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV First Drive Recap

MAY 28 2015 BY MARK KANE 11

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

All-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Powertrain

Volvo Cars already began in its Torslanda plant in Gothenburg, Sweden production of the new XC90 (on three-shifts), which attracted nearly 30,000 pre-orders.

Some 20% of them (probably around 6,000) are for the plug-in hybrid version T8 Twin Engine, although the company wasn’t really ready for so many PHEVs. First deliveries of the T8 are expected in October.

Up to date, Volvo sold more than 636,000 of the previous generation XC90, out of which roughly 250,000 were sold in the US.

As it turns out, share of pre-orders for Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine in the US is similar – 2,192 out of those 6,000.

Pricing in the US starts at $68,100 without deducting tax credit (probably $4,600).

XC90 is one of the most important new models in the Volvo lineup because of its new design language, new strategic Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and of course the plug-in hybrid version XC90 T8 Twin Engine – a first from Volvo to go on sale worldwide. It also have seven seats (2+3+2).

Green Car Congress recently released a comprehensive recap, which helps to compare the latest plug-in Volvo to other models:

Luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs coming to US market (source: Green Car Congress)

Luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs coming to US market (source: Green Car Congress)

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine is equipped with a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. Cells (96 Lithium Manganese Oxide-Nickel Manganese Cobalt / Graphite) come from LG Chem. Packs is installed in the central tunnel and is water-cooled.

In the rear, Volvo used a 65 kW electric drive unit from Siemens.

“The Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) (from Siemens) also has three functions: a generator for charging the battery; electric traction drive; and power boost. The water-cooled unit features a 10 gear ratio and has a disconnect clutch. The 65 kW (87 hp) unit delivers 240 N·m (177 lb-ft) of torque.”

In the front there is 2-liter, 4-cylinder Drive-E engine (318 hp and 400 Nm) with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and 34 kW Crankshaft-ISG (C-ISG).

“Volvo had proposed an early version of the Crankshaft-Integrated Starter Generator (C-ISG) in 2001; that 42V system was intended for a mild hybrid application. The current C-ISG is integrated between the engine and the 8-speed transmission (itself the same unit used in the T6).

The water-cooled C-ISG has three functions: the starter; a generator to keep charging the battery; and power boost under certain conditions. Its contribution adds to the torque infill between gear shifts, enabling the smooth drive feeling; it also provides extra oomph during start-up and hard acceleration. The 34 kW unit (46 hp) delivers 150 N·m (103 lb-ft) of torque.”

“”The XC90 T8 has two extra cooling circuits. The first cools the C-ISG and the ERAD. 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.”

Acceleration of T8 in the first three seconds exceeds base Tesla Model S 85 (we believe base rear-motor version).

“In the XC90 T8 PHEV—which uses essentially the same engine as in the T6 in combination with the 65 kW electric rear axle drive (ERAD), 34 kW Crankshaft-ISG (C-ISG), and 9.2 kWh Li-ion battery pack—acceleration improves by about 9% (0-62 mph in 5.6 seconds); system power is up by 25% to 400 hp; and system torque is up 60% to 472 lb-ft. Due to the sophisticated use of torque infill, the drive performance of the T8 PHEV is even more seamless and smoother than in the T6. (More on torque infill later.) All this in a quiet, extremely comfortable cabin that the Volvo team calls, with justification, “A Scandinavian Sanctuary”.”

Acceleration comparison of the new XC90 T8 PHEV, the older V8-powered XC90, and the Tesla Model S 85 (Image credit Volvo via Green Car Congress)

Acceleration comparison of the new XC90 T8 PHEV, the older V8-powered XC90, and the Tesla Model S 85 (Image credit Volvo via Green Car Congress)

Just as a remember, XC90 test drives are anticipated to start at select US Volvo dealers in June, with first deliveries to customers happening in the Fall.

You can find a more detailed write up on the XC90 T8 PHEV  at Green Car Congress.

Categories: Volvo


Leave a Reply

11 Comments on "Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV First Drive Recap"

newest oldest most voted

I do believe we will not be getting the TDI V6 Q7 e-trone but a TSI I-4 version. Same EV set up I am sure, but like the SQ5s, continent specific fueling.

I do believe you’re right. But as long as the ~17 kWh battery pack and ~35 mile AER stays intact, I don’t think it should matter.

“The water-cooled unit features a 10 gear ratio and has a disconnect clutch.”

I think this should say …features a 10:1 gear ratio… Clearly it is not a 10 speed transmission on the rear e-motor. I would imagine that the disconnect clutch is there so that it can have low gearing and still not restrict the top speed of the vehicle.

Don’t even think about the problems of a high mileage used version. Dealers dream!

Volvo XC90 PHEV
AER 17miles = FAIL

17 miles for a people mover such as T8 is actually very useful, different from a Prius Plugin.

But the price premium will make the T8 a hard sell over non-plugin version.

Respecrfully disagree 17miles is very useful. Any AER below 40miles most view as not worth having a plug.

The T8 XC90 is the only 7-seater PHEV. The bigger battery on the Q7 Etron takes up the space for a fold down third row. It seem Volvo has the PHEV 7-seat market to itself for a while.

And notice that the Mercedes GLE 550e and the BMW X5 PHEV are not only 5-seaters, their range is not significantly different that the T8 XC90—except the X5 is less.

All electric range, I mean.

Be interesting to see what GM has up their sleeve for this class. A nice Caddy SUV with 17mi AER would be great!