What makes for an exciting vehicle? How about a vehicle that is fast, efficient, offers all-wheel-drive capability, is luxurious, and relatively affordable? That would be a home run, right? Could the all-new 2018 XC60 T8 AWD plug-in hybrid be such a vehicle? Here are all of the data so you can decide for yourself.
The Volvo XC60 is all-new for the 2018 model year. The gasoline-only T5 and T6 models are going on sale in August 2017. This T8 plug-in hybrid should arrive in United States dealerships in September 2017.
Lets start with the power unit. You may be already familiar with Volvo’s “twin engine” T8 hybrid powertrain from the XC90 and the S90. The all-new XC60 is built on the same chassis, Volvo calls it Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Volvo’s total power rating is a very impressive 400 hp and 472 lb-ft. of torque. It gets it done with the help of 2.0-liter four-cylinder super-turbo gasoline engine that provides 313 hp and 295 lb-ft. The rest is made up by an electric motor that feeds the rear wheels.
The electric motor is fed by an upgraded 10.4 kWh battery. The physical size of the lithium-ion battery is the same as in the previous XC90 T8 application. However, the battery chemistry has been improved to boost from 9.2 kWh. Volvo claims an overall 20% increase in energy capacity in the latest battery pack. Part of it comes from the improved battery chemistry, and the other part is an improvement in how Volvo engineers are utilizing the energy.
What does it mean in the real world? The new T8 system is not yet rated by the EPA for MPGe or electric range, but Volvo says all-electric range of over 20 miles is possible under certain driving conditions. This upgraded T8 system will also find its way into the 2018 XC90, 2018 S90, and other SPA-based vehicles at a later date.
Another neat feature of the plug-in hybrid system is that if offers all-wheel-drive capability when fully charged or with the battery depleted. When the battery charge gets low the gasoline engine become a generator and the battery acts as a buffer. It does this because there is no drive shaft going to the rear axle from the gas engine.
In an extreme case that you run out of gasoline, but you still have energy in the battery, the T8 will allow you to go some distance at a reduced speed (in RWD-only mode) and hopefully get filled up again.
Is the XC60 T8 fast? Volvo did not allow journalists to drive the new model yet. Volvo claims a 0-60 MPH sprint of 4.9 seconds. This does sound very fast indeed. By comparison, a Porsche Macan Turbo (with it’s turbocharged 400 horsepower engine) claims a 4.6 second 0-60 MPH. A Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid claims a 5.4 second run. Not bad company for the XC60 T8.
What about price and value? The 2018 XC60 T8 starts at $52,900, but in the United States, the car is eligible for a federal tax credit of $5,002. Some states offer additional tax benefits. This makes the base T8 quiet attractive in price. Of course, the fully-loaded sporty R-Design T8 you see in these images has an MSRP of nearly $64,000. If you want to pile on the luxury, then you can go for the fully optioned T8 Inscription model that will push the price to over $69,000.
How does it compare to other vehicle of the same performance. The Macan Turbo start at around $77,200 and the Cayenne e-Hybrid begins at $79,900. The 2018 XC60 T8 is priced aggressively and it is also the most affordable plug-in from Volvo (for now).
The competition should pay close attention to what Volvo is doing here. The XC60 is Volvo’s best selling vehicle, and the all-new 2018 model is looking to keep that trend.