Volvo T8 PHEVs Get More Range, Power, Plus a Bigger Tax Credit


Volvo has updated its T8 AWD plug-in hybrid version of its scalable vehicle architecture underpinning cars like the XC90 and XC60 Recharge, adding more performance and a larger battery. The updates boost the all-electric range, and on top of that, now customers would also be able to redeem the federal government’s full $7,500 electrified vehicle tax credit on any Recharge model. Previously, these models were eligible for smaller credits.

The update will roll out to every vehicle on the T8 AWD plug-in platform, including the S60 Recharge, V60 Polestar Engineered, XC60 Recharge, XC60 Polestar Engineered, S90 Recharge, and XC90 Recharge currently on sale. Volvo says the extensive upgrades “significantly extending electric range, lowering carbon dioxide emissions, increasing performance, and improving drivability. “

Driving the plug-in hybrid in EV mode—where the gas engine is shut off and you’re running on battery and motors only for a limited range, like a BEV—will get you further now. The S60 Recharge and V60 Polestar Engineered gain the most, at 41 miles total, the S90 Recharge jumps up to 38 miles total, and The XC60, S90, and XC90 Recharge models all get 35 miles of total EV range.

Volvo claims this is enough for most of its customers to get to work on electric power alone, without having to burn any fuel. If they can charge at work, then they can operate the car in EV mode on daily commutes. Volvo says its customer research reflects its plug-in hybrids mentioned above are already driven “around half the time” in pure electric mode, so the boosted range will likely only increase that estimate. Volvo calls them “part-time electric cars,” which is cute.

 A third layer has been added to the battery unit, improving battery capacity from 11.6 kWh to 18.8 kWh, with a new, more powerful rear electric motor, making 143 horsepower, or 56 more horses than the outgoing motor unit. The upgrades aren’t all focused in the back, though.

That new electric motor, plus upgrades to the turbo 2.0-liter I-4 gas engine, have boosted overall power output up to 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque for Recharge T8 AWD models, making them the most powerful regular Volvo production cars the company claims it’s ever produced. 

The engine and motor improvements have also slightly boosted low-speed traction and towing capabilities. Volvo says the “turbocharged T8 petrol engine is upgraded for higher fuel efficiency and performance. This means higher engine power at low revs and take-off while ensuring a more refined electrified drive with reduced CO2 tailpipe emissions. ” 

Anders Gustafsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car USA, said, “This upgrade will show so many the benefits of an electric future, and serve as a stepping stone on their own journey toward full electrification.”

Other updates include newly introduced, optional one-pedal driving in EV mode for XC60 and S90 models, and a new remote cabin pre-heat or pre-cool feature is now available through the Volvo Cars phone app. Below is a table featuring the updated power, MPGe, and range figures for Volvo’s T8 AWD powertrain lineup going forward:

Model Pure Electric Range*ˆ MPGe* MPG* Combined Power (HP) Combined Torque (lb. ft. )
S60 Recharge 41 74 31 455 523
V60 Polestar Engineered 41 74 31 455 523
XC60 Recharge 35 63 28 455 523
XC60 Polestar Engineered 35 63 28 455 523
S90 Recharge 38 66 29 455 523
XC90 Recharge 35 66 26 455 523

*EPA Estimated; ˆWhen driven in Pure Mode

Table information provided by Volvo.

Volvo isn’t talking about pricing yet for these updated T8 models, but we have to imagine MSRPs will increase somewhat given the additional performance and capabilities. We’ll update you when we get that information.



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