Volvo is one of the few manufacturers to put a hybrid powertrain as a top-of-the-line option. This powertrain – Volvo calls the T8 or Recharge – refers to a turbocharged, supercharged four-cylinder engine paired with a plug-in hybrid system. In the past, we’ve praised the powertrain for its sheer thrust and powerful range for all-electric vehicles, even for the heaviest vehicle in the lineup, the 2022 Volvo XC90.
This year, we have a new reason to celebrate the Recharge powertrain, as Volvo rolls out a more efficient and functional version for 2022. Here’s what we know.
So what has changed?
Volvo increased the total power capacity of the battery pack from 11.6 kWh to 18.8 kWh by adding a third layer of cells. Referred to as an “extended-range” powertrain, it also allows drivers to preconfigure the cabin without having to hook up the car – a limitation of previous recharge models. In the past, we’ve noted in our reviews that placing the battery pack inside the tunnel that runs down the middle of the floor intrudes a bit on storage space. Hopefully adding more cells to the pack won’t make it worse.
Under the hood of the T8 there is another surprise: the internal combustion engine no longer features a supercharger. To make up for the loss of the supercharger, there’s an upgraded rear electric motor, which now produces 143 horsepower on its own, compared to the previous engine’s 87 horsepower. The engine and motor now produce 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque combined across the board; The previous iteration pumped out 400-415 hp and 472-494 lb-ft (depending on the vehicle).
The XC60 Recharge and S90 Recharge models will be the first to feature Volvo’s one-pedal drive mode, which electric car drivers have been familiar with for some time. When engaged, the driver is able to accelerate as normal but is also able to slow the car to a complete stop by raising the accelerator pedal. It increases the amount of power obtained from regenerative braking and should extend the vehicle’s electric driving range.
Significantly improved range
All Volvo 60 and 90 Series Rechargers get the upgraded battery pack by default. (Somewhat confusingly, Volvo’s customer site makes it seem like the long-range package is an option for the XC60, XC90, and S90, but this, in fact, only distinguishes previous versions with the old package from the newer models with a broadband package.) The electric range goes up Totally between 16 and 19 miles across the lineup when driving in pure electric-only driving mode.