Volvo Car South Africa has announced the local introduction of the highly anticipated XC60 T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid as the Swedish luxury firm continues its shift towards electrification.
Positioned at the summit of the recently refreshed XC60 line-up above the B5 and B6 mild-hybrid variants, the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid newcomer is available in distinctive R-Design guise as well as in luxury Inscription form. Pricing starts at R1 218 900.
The high-performance, low-emissions powertrain comprises the Scandinavian company’s 233 kW/400 Nm turbo- and supercharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, a 107 kW/309 Nm electric motor sited on the rear axle and an 18.8 kWh (gross capacity) lithium-ion battery capable of receiving a charge via cable.
The result is the best of both worlds, with the latest version of Volvo’s popular mid-size SUV boasting a pure electric range of up to 81 km, a combined fuel consumption of only 1.6 L/100 km and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 4.8 seconds. Volvo’s Geartronic eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.
As with other derivatives in the XC60 range, the T8 Recharge features the firm’s latest Android-powered infotainment system, complete with built-in Google apps and services. Volvo was the first automaker to directly integrate its cars with Google Assistant-enabled devices. Furthermore, the number of services available through the Volvo Cars app increases thanks to the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid configuration, allowing owners to remotely precondition the cabin (without having to start the engine), track the battery’s charge levels and monitor electricity consumption, for example.
Specification highlights include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, inductive smartphone charging and 19-inch alloys, while the R-Design variant gains sporty model-specific interior and exterior styling cues. Various options are also available for either derivative, including a Harman Kardon Premium Sound system, air suspension and wheels measuring up to 22 inches in diameter.
Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director at Volvo Car South Africa, says the XC60 T8 Recharge arrives at the right time, with local interest in electrified vehicles growing fast. Globally, sales of Recharge models increased 11.5 percent year on year in January 2022, accounting for 31.7 percent of all Volvo vehicles sold around the world during the month, and Maruszewski believes a similar trend will emerge in South Africa.
“You need only look at the popularity of our first fully electric model – the XC40 P8 Recharge – to understand there’s a growing local appetite for electrified vehicles. A plug-in hybrid is an attractive first step for South Africans who are considering making the switch to electric, and the XC60 T8 Recharge is a compelling option, combining ultra-low emissions with brisk performance.
“Its arrival is a further demonstration of our commitment to increasingly electrify our model range, with the ultimate ambition of becoming a fully electric car company by 2030.”
The XC60 has been Volvo’s top-selling vehicle globally since 2009 and was awarded the World Car of the Year title in 2018. A year ago, the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) handed the XC60 its Top Safety Pick Plus accolade, to go along with the five-star rating it earlier earned from Euro NCAP.