Volvo hybrid engines deliver outstanding fuel economy and reduced emissions while never sacrificing performance. Explore Volvo’s hybrid engine options today.
What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars combine two forms of propulsion – using both an internal combustion engine and at least one electric motor. A conventional vehicle is powered only by a petrol or diesel combustion motor.
The combination is designed primarily to lower fuel consumption, by either reducing an engine’s workload or occasionally taking it out of the equation to rely solely on battery power.
Hybrid cars were a technological novelty when they first appeared in the late 1990s, though in recent years have become increasingly widespread as manufacturers seek to build cars capable of meeting ever-stricter emissions regulations.
Hybrid systems vary in their set-up, with essentially three main types available.
A ‘mild hybrid’ employs an electric motor that assists the engine but never powers the vehicle’s wheels alone.
The ‘series parallel hybrid’ or ‘full hybrid’ – which has been the most popular type of hybrid car for the past two decades – provides partial electric-only range, after which it works in tandem with a conventional combustion engine. The battery feeding the electric motor is typically recharged by the car – via kinetic energy stored from regenerative braking and from excess engine power.
Series parallel hybrids are particularly effective in the low-speed, stop-start scenarios of urban traffic, though less efficient on the open road where the combustion engine is almost always needed.
The fastest-growing type is the ‘plug-in hybrid’, whereby the vehicle is capable of being charged automatically on the move – as with a series parallel hybrid – and charged manually, by plugging the vehicle into a power outlet.
While the larger battery of a typical plug-in hybrid means it can’t be fully recharged on the road, once fully recharged over a number of hours –at a public recharging station or overnight in the garage, for example – it allows for a longer duration of electric-only driving, and at higher speeds.
Volvo hybrid cars
Volvo Cars has developed a plug-in hybrid system that delivers the best of both worlds: amazing fuel efficiency and scintillating performance.
Our T8 Twin Engine combines a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor.
The driver can access three modes to vary the interaction of the twin technologies, depending on whether the priority is efficiency (Pure mode), performance (Power), or a mixture of the two (default Hybrid mode).
In Hybrid mode, the system can alternate between independent use of the electric motor at the rear wheels and the petrol engine operating the front wheels – or use them in tandem for all-wheel drive, to achieve the best balance of performance and efficiency.
Pure mode operates at speeds up to 125km/h and utilises the electric motor as much as possible. According to official fuel figures, the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine uses just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100km, and emits only 49 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
And Power gives the XC90 T8 the ability to reach 100km/h from a standing start in just 5.6 seconds via permanent tandem operation of the petrol engine and electric motor for optimum all-wheel-drive performance.
Quick guide to Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine
T8 Twin Engine
- 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged/supercharged petrol engine + electric motor
- 235kW + 65kW
- 400Nm + 240Nm
- 0-100km/h: 5.6 seconds