Technology

Electrifying performance

Electrification is at the heart of Volvo Cars’ vision to combine effortless performance with incredible efficiency. The new S60 T8 Twin Engine, a plug-in hybrid, is the next step forward – a car that’s ready for the future, today.

BY LEO WILKINSON

The T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid balances power with efficiency

The future is electric – and it’s something to look forward to. Electrification makes cars more powerful and helps to reduce tail pipe emissions and air pollution. It’s a more efficient, sustainable form of power. That’s why, in 2017, Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, announced that from 2019 every new Volvo car would have an electric motor. The brand will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, he added, with the aim of putting one million hybrid or all-electric Volvo cars on the road by 2025. It was an announcement that made headlines around the world.

And this bold vision is already becoming a reality thanks to cars such as the new S60 T8 Twin Engine. This plug-in hybrid driver’s sedan builds on the success of T8 Twin Engine versions of the XC60, S90, V90 and XC90. It provides very strong performance yet it also offers near-silent zero-emissions running.

Per-Arne Reinholdsson, technical director, hybrid cars at Volvo Cars, says that making a plug-in hybrid the range-topping variant of its new-generation cars was a brave, visionary move justified by just how much these electrified, high-performance cars have to offer. “As well as being the best-equipped and most powerful models in their ranges, the T8 Twin Engine models are also the most efficient when you make use of their plug-in capabilities. They show Volvo Cars at its most progressive,” he says.

Like all of Volvo Cars’ new-generation plug-in hybrid cars, the new S60 T8 Twin Engine combines a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels with a powerful electric motor at the rear. The result is effortless performance and a strong, consistent response when you press the accelerator. “You could say that T8 is the new V8,” says Per-Arne. “This is a very dynamic car, and it has the performance to match.”

“If thrilling pace is one way that new S60 T8 Twin Engine redefines the driving experience, its ability to provide peaceful, near-silent travel is another. “It’s a luxury experience,” says Per-Arne. “You can drive through the city on electric-only power and barely hear a thing. The car becomes a sanctuary where you can enjoy the calm.”

The new S60 T8 Twin Engine also transforms the commute – its electric-only mode is enough to get most people to and from work with zero emissions. And it’s a car that adapts to differing needs, offering a choice of Pure, Power and Hybrid driving modes that allows the driver to select whatever is right for their journey and circumstances. An All-Wheel Drive mode improves traction in slippery conditions, while an Individual mode allows the driver to select their own combination of settings. “This car is all about power, control and efficient performance – and electrification allows the driver to really tailor their experience. It puts them at the centre of everything,” says Per-Arne.

Plug-in hybrid technology is the right solution at the right time, states Per-Arne. “It’s a very good combination of existing and new technologies. It really gives you the best of everything.”

 

Environment

Life’s invisible luxury

This article is part of our ‘Passionate people behind Volvo’ series. In this article, we meet two of the experts who work as part of Volvo Cars’ Interior Air Quality Testing Team. As we are guided through their working day, the Interior Air Quality Testing Team explain Volvo Cars’ approach to ensuring Volvo drivers enjoy a clean and healthy in-car environment that is free from emissions.

Heritage

The race to the horizon

The fascinating background and history of the Volvo Ocean Race have turned it into one of the best-known and toughest endurance races in the sporting calendar. For four and a half decades, participants have challenging themselves and each other as they sail its course. In this article, we will trace the race back to its beginning - and beyond, looking at the developments that shaped modern sea travel and made it possible in the first place. We trace the history of the race all the way back to the opening of the Panama and Suez canals, and then how - decades later - Robin Knox-Johnson became the first man to sail single-handedly round the planet. We then describe the foundation of the race in the 70s, and the developments that turned it into the event we know today - with its cutting-edge boats, teams of world champion sailors and non-stop coverage.

Services

The race for perfection

In this article, we visit the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal. Here, we meet the team of experts responsible for repairing and re-fitting the entire fleet of Volvo Ocean 65 boats that will compete in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. We describe each team member’s individual area of expertise and show how the team works together to ensure that each boat is repaired identically, on time and to the highest possible standard. Their expertise in different areas represents the same level of competence you find at a Volvo workshop. We also meet Swedish sailor Martin Strömberg, who won the 2011-12 edition of the race, to find out what a great service programme gives him as a sailor.