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Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain explained (video)

How do you combine world-class power with high fuel economy and exceptionally low emissions, let alone in a 7-passenger luxury SUV? Volvo has found a very unique and interesting solution, namely the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain.

In the Volvo XC90 crossover, this system allows 0-100km/h sprints in just 5.6 seconds while offering five different drive modes for a wide range of performance capabilities and optimum efficiency. Using the rotary dial on the centre console or the touchscreen up top, the driver can select any of these modes:

Pure: In this mode, when the high-voltage battery is fully charged (a process that takes about four hours only), 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 40 kilometres 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.

Hybrid: This is the default mode, suitable for everyday use. Here, the vehicle will automatically alternate between drawing power from the 2.0L 4-cylinder Drive-E engine and the electric motor to deliver the best overall fuel consumption.

Power: Here, drivers get the combined performance of the turbocharged/supercharged combustion engine and the electric motor—400 total horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. 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.

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.

Don’t miss the following video to better understand Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine powertrain: