TEST: Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge – The last super jerk! – Test runs

Premium Volvo trims its plug-in hybrids with a larger battery and stronger engines. The cars are faster and run longer on electricity. But will there be a fully powered XC60 soon?

WHAT IS NEW? Volvo’s direction is crystal clear, it is electric propulsion that applies to the future. But already now they are sharpening their plug-in hybrid offer to be part of the match, not least financially. All 60 and 90 models get basically the same update as this XC60 that we drove.

Previously, the XC60 T8 Recharge had an official electric range of 51 km. Not only do many drivers think that around four real miles on electricity is quite small, with the new proposed tax rules that will probably apply from 1 July 2022, it means that the XC60 would not have received a climate bonus because the emissions were over 50 grams / km .

Volvo has therefore come up with the second facelift during the same year, which feels a bit stressed and not long-term planned.

XC60 Recharge manufactured after week 47 gets a hefty trim. The battery pack grows from 11.6 to 18.8 kWh, which means that the official range increases from 51 to 67-79 km, depending on the equipment. It is good to have managed to stow the extra battery capacity without the spaces being negatively affected.

The rear electric motor is now 145 instead of 88 hp and the front auxiliary motor has grown in power from 46 to 54 hp, which is so much that the compressor for the petrol engine has been rationalized away.

At the same time, they have probably increased the boost pressure on the petrol engine because the power on it has risen to 310 hp – total system power is now 455 hp and 705 Nm.

The four-wheel drive must also have been updated by being able to run on electricity with drive on all fours. Previously, the XC60 was only rear-wheel drive in pure electric mode.

A really environmentally friendly update is that the old petrol-powered passenger compartment heater has been replaced by an electric heater of 5 kW. Now you can preheat your car without emitting exhaust fumes.

Five different driving programs in easily updated infotainment system.

HOW IS IT TO DRIVE? I step directly from a Volvo C40 Recharge into the XC60 Recharge T8 Inscription and it is a big step in many ways. The larger XC60 feels much more premium, more luxurious with, among other things, its fine wool-mixed fabric upholstery and real pieces of wood in the interior. At the same time, it also does not feel as agile and driver-focused, rather a bit cranky in the light steering and with a larger turning circle.

But the important thing is of course the driveline. In crawl speeds you do not notice the update, but give a lot of gas and it feels like you are sitting in a modern and nice electric car, maybe not tesla-fast. But it is definitely sharp enough for all everyday driving.

The single-pedal mode brakes the car nicely, and it also gives electric car vibration. Already from the spring facelift came the improvement that it is possible to accelerate significantly without the petrol engine waking up to life, because there is a resistance in the accelerator pedal that you have to force.

Satisfied reporter after a first short test drive in Belgium.

In Performance mode, all motors cooperate and gives a total of 455 hp – the most ever in a civilian Volvo. Of course it goes away and Volvo is really good when it comes to seamlessly connecting the electric drive with the internal combustion engine, but I would say that the acceleration experience is more intense in a Tesla, for example.

The fact that the car can now drive on four wheels with only electricity should provide slightly safer winter properties. The first generation plug-in hybrids from Volvo were sometimes a bit moody on winter roads. Incidentally, the comfort is high as usual and the air suspension is really comfortable, this is a great car to ride in.

But perhaps the most important thing – the electric range – we do not have time to test during the short test drive, it will have to wait until our test at home. But if we calculate that the official electric range has increased by 43 percent and add it to the test range that we measured on the previous generation, we arrive at a probable “normal range” of 63 km.

This is far from what BMW’s and Mercedes’ best charging hybrids can handle, but far enough for many to be able to handle all or large parts of the daily commute on electricity.

Expensive interior with fine fabric that gives a Scandinavian feel.

NERD FACTS. The passenger compartment heater is not a so-called heat pump, which is located in most modern electric cars, but a direct heating element. This means that electric heating is not maximally energy efficient, but as I said, much better for the environment than the old petrol heater.

If you choose to preheat the car when it is not connected to a charging post, you lose a maximum of 17 percent of the battery capacity during 30 minutes of heating, according to Volvo. It theoretically gives a drop of just over a mile. The heater must be programmed so that it can at most take 2.5 kW of the battery’s total of 18.8 kWh.

But all this of course depends on how cold it is outside and on how hot you want in your car. Of course, it’s great to be able to get to a hot car and maybe not have to scratch the windows – without emitting any exhaust fumes.

SHOULD I BUY ONE? Here we have the big quibble question. Thanks to the lower consumption, the bonus has increased from SEK 12,352 to SEK 28,676. This halves the price increase of approximately SEK 30,000. But it is important that the car is delivered before 1 July, after which the bonus for plug-in hybrids will be a maximum of SEK 25,000.

Reasonably, the XC60 T6 is a smarter choice, which is SEK 50,000 cheaper with the same equipment. 5.7 seconds to 100 km instead of 4.9 you can live with.

On the other hand, you are up to such high price levels that, for example, a Tesla Model Y after bonus will be cheaper to buy than the XC60 T8. Not to mention how much lower the operating cost will be and how much higher the resale value is likely to be. An electric XC40 is also much cheaper in every way – but does not provide the same comfort, space and feeling of luxury.

But if you can charge at home, which is a must for the XC60 T8 to make sense, a clean electric car is the better buy – if you are not going to pull heavy and drive Norrlandsvägar.

Rumor has it that Volvo engineers work overtime to produce fully electric versions of the XC60 and V90. Are you a Volvo fan, maybe these are the cars you should wait for?


Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.

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