Volvo is boosting the range of its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models with a larger battery. The enhancement to T8 Recharge models of the 2022 Volvo S60, V60, S90, XC60, and XC90 models will also come with a more powerful rear electric motor that makes them the most powerful Volvo cars ever built.
By adding a third row to the battery pack, Volvo has increased capacity from 11.6 kWh to 18.8 kWh. That bigger pack nearly doubles the range of some of the vehicles, giving the S60 and V60 T8 64 km, the S90 61 km, and both the XC90 and XC60 crossovers 58 km of electric driving range.
Making use of that extra electrical capacity is a new rear motor making 143 hp. With a significant boost of 56 horses, the total output for the T8 models is now 455 hp. Volvo says that the extra rear power boosts the drivability of the vehicles, especially in slippery road conditions or when towing.
The 2.0L gas engine that runs the internal combustion side of the powertrain has also been enhanced. Volvo says it will deliver more power at low rpm and help maintain EV levels of smoothness, but should also deliver more fuel efficiency.
Starting with the XC60 and S90, upgrades will include one-pedal driving. The feature is common to Volvo's (as well as other makers') full EVs and uses regeneration to help slow the car in most braking conditions. It will be rolled out to more of the T8 models later. Volvo says that the extra capacity also allows pre-heating and pre-cooling of the cabin while maintaining some electric drive range.
Volvo says its research shows its PHEV cars are driven in EV mode around half of the time. The automaker expects this upgrade to boost that percentage, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the vehicles as part of its plan to cut vehicle carbon footprints by 40 per cent from 2018 to 2025.