Written by Lindsay Brooke

No, Volvo hasn&quot;t stuffed its old V8 into the new XC60, but that&quot;s what the T8 nameplate of this new plug-in hybrid SUV might imply. Confused? You&quot;re not alone. Here, T8 is Swedish engineering code for the union of combustion-engine and electric power, the ICE being a 313-hp (233 kW) turbocharged-and-supercharged 2.0 L four, paired with a 87-hp AC motor to drive the rear wheels. In between them are a 46-hp (36-kW) e-motor, 8-speed transaxle and a 10.4-kW h lithium-ion battery pack tucked into the center tunnel. An Orrefors crystal gearchange lever puts the aggregate 472 lb ft (640 N m) to work on the top-line Inscription model I tested. Six driving modes offer everything from near-silent urban cruising on pure electric power (EPA rated at 18 mi/29 km range in ideal thermal conditions) to off-roading, in which the system locks the front and rear diffs at less than 25 mph (40 km/h). The Power mode tightens up the XC60&quot;s suspension damping rate and steering response for sporty driving. There&quot;s plenty of oomph available on the highway for passing semis, but the calibrators missed a swath of turbo lag that results in a hiccup under wide-open throttle. A revised throttle map may be the only thing missing in an otherwise uniquely Scandinavian luxury SUV. The Inspiration-level cabin is trimmed with genuine wood inserts and buttery leather covering the IP and seats and audiophiles might justify the $3200 price tag of the optional Bowers &amp; Wilkins 15-speaker/1100-w audio system. Volvo&quot;s NVH team sweated the details to create a sedate XC60 interior and one that sounds great, too. 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Inscription <br /> Base price:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; $56700 As tested: &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; $71290 (HEV eligible for $5,002 Federal Tax Credit) Highs: &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Dreamy Swedish interior; six drive modes; plug-in EV capability Lows: &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&n bsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Throttle cals still need work; what&quot;s a T8? The takeaway:&nbsp; Design and engineering harmony

Date written: 22-Oct-2017 11:02 EDT

More of this article on the SAE International Website

ID: 9657