The all-new Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, the world’s first seven passenger plug-in hybrid SUV, has been named Green Car Journal’s 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year.
The Volvo XC90 T8 offers a combined 400 horsepower by way of a two-liter turbocharged and supercharged gas engine in front and an electric motor at the rear. Together they deliver an EPA-rated 53 MPGe, making the all-wheel-drive XC90 T8 the world’s most powerful and efficient SUV.
The luxury SUV has five different driving modes that deliver a range of performance and efficiency-enhancing characteristics. Using either a scroll wheel on the centre console or a touchscreen on the dashboard, drivers can choose from:
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: 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 more than 40km using just electricity, which covers the total distance many 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: 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.
“It is an honor to receive this award from Green Car Journal for the XC90 T8,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO, Volvo Car USA. “Volvo is committed to a vehicle electrification strategy that will make powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid powertrains available in more models, such as the S90 luxury sedan that goes on sale this year.”
“The new Volvo XC90 T8 is a milestone luxury SUV offering the important features most desired by buyers who want it all,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Its attractive new styling, welcome luxury appointments, seven passenger seating, and plug-in hybrid power deservedly earn its distinction as Green Car Journal’s 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™. ”