9:00 PM | February 21 2020
T8 Twin Engine: The hyper-intelligent powertrain
The range-topping Volvo V60 T8 R-Design features a clever plug-in hybrid system that combines effortless performance with incredible fuel efficiency.
The contrasting qualities might seem mutually exclusive for a conventional petrol engine, but Volvo Cars’ T8 Twin Engine is no ordinary drivetrain.
Fast yet frugal, it does indeed deliver the best of both motoring worlds in the All-New Volvo V60 T8 R-Design.
The luxury wagon can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, yet it is also capable of official fuel consumption of just 2.0 litres per 100km* – including the capability for near-silent zero-emissions motoring.
It forms part of Volvo Cars’ industry-leading strategy to electrify its entire showroom, with every new model introduced from 2019 onwards featuring some form of electric power.
The V60 T8 follows the success of this ‘Twin Engine’ in the XC90 and XC60 SUVs, and S90 and S60 sedans.
As the Twin Engine name implies, the T8 powertrain comprises two motors that create an all-wheel-drive vehicle.
A supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with Polestar Optimisation produces 246kW and 430Nm and powers the front wheels. A powerful electric motor with 65kW and 240Nm drives the rear wheels.
Three driving modes allow the driver to tailor their style of motoring.
Pure mode focuses on the rear axle’s electric motor to provide zero-emissions running at city speeds, making the powertrain perfect for near-silent daily commuting.
Hybrid mode unites both the petrol engine and electric motor for an optimised balance of performance and consumption. A seamless interplay of the twin engines is made possible by a powerful, 34kW crankshaft-mounted starter generator that allows the car to go from pure electric drive to a combination with combustion drive – and therefore on-demand all-wheel drive.
The starter generator is also involved in Performance mode, acting as an electric engine booster for the supercharged/turbocharged petrol engine as the system employs all available power sources for maximum acceleration.
There’s also an AWD mode to activate full-time all-wheel drive to improve traction for slippery surfaces.
Regenerative braking is built into the brake-pedal system, and even gentle braking will help to recharge the hybrid battery when your Volvo is on the move. This recharging process can be enhanced by putting the gearbox into ‘B’.
A Charge mode can also be activated to focus the petrol engine on charging the hybrid battery, or use Hold mode to preserve a full charge so you can use more of the electric motor on its own when it’s most effective - in towns or cities.
The Volvo V60 T8 R-Design can run solely on its petrol engine if the battery – which provides the energy source for the electric motor – is depleted. The battery can be fully replenished simply by plugging the vehicle into a recharging socket at home or at a recharging station.
The large battery pack doesn’t compromise either interior space or handling, as it is positioned centrally in the tunnel of the car. So, the T8 R-Design has the same interior and boot space as other versions of the V60. And the battery’s location helps keep the vehicle’s centre of gravity and low and central to make it more responsive to drive.
*Results achieved in test conditions. Actual results may vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition and options/accessories fitted. Fuel consumption data provided for comparison purposes only. Source: ADR81/02 combined.