The all-new 2018 Volvo XC60 compact SUV arrives in August with three engines. The great news is that Volvo is bringing out an XC60 plug-in hybrid in September. The difference in price between the petrol version and the PHEV (after the $5,000 Federal Tax Credit) is only $3,000. I just love that Volvo is bringing out a PHEV version of all their vehicles.
For generations, Volvo was known for its safety through technology. Volvo was sold to Ford Motor Company, and then to the Chinese company Geely. There was concern that Volvo would fall the way of Saab, but that fear was unfounded. Volvo has come back with a technological vengeance and a new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which allows them to produce a T-8 Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV).
Volvo introduced a brand new XC 90 and followed it up with the first 3-row plug-in hybrid SUV that won numerous awards. Part of the reason it won the awards was that Geely let Volvo be the Scandinavian car everyone knew and loved; the other reason is that Volvo is showing off new technology, a technology that will help meet the ZEV requirements of California, a large buyer of Volvos and a State that believes in clean air.
Each car manufacturer names their models to denote big, bigger biggest. The XC 90 is the largest, most luxurious three-row SUV. The XC60 is next, and as Volvo’s Senior Vice President of design, Thomas Ingenlath, explained the XC60 “is like a show you could wear with a suit or you could wear it with jeans. The XC60 is the car that will fit all occasions. You will never dress wrong.”
Bringing out the XC 90 first was smart, Volvo got a sense of what was right and wrong before they brought out their flagship XC60. The hardest vehicle to design is the vehicle that is old in the tooth but still loved by everyone.
The 2018 XC60 is longer, lower, and wider. The second-row seats do not slide forward or back, but there is an ample 38-inches of rear legroom and 29.7 sq.ft of cargo space. The wheelbase grows 3.6 inches to 112.8 inches while the overall length is only 2.4 inches longer to 184.6 inches. The distinctive Thor’s Hammer LED headlamps to connect with the chromed grille for the optical illusion of width, but the width actually increases less than 0.5 inches to 74.9 inches. The vehicle is also 0.5 inches lower at the height of 65.3 inches. The 2018 Volvo XC60 is larger but weighs around the same thanks to the use of lightweight steel.
The use of natural driftwood that has a silver-gray, exposed look pays homage to the clean hi-tech Scandanavian roots. The wood flows across the dash, but I will let Ingenlath describe it in an almost haiku way,
“Driftwood is a material formed by the sea and colored by exposure to salt and the extreme temperatures of our unique geography.
Driftwood’s naturally silvered surface is an entirely new treatment that is alive with subtle colors and texture.
By placing the grain of the wood in line with the direction of travel we have created a sense of forward motion as it forms the foundation of the interior architecture.
We designed a completely new interior to celebrate the beauty of this material, where the wood becomes an integral part of the architecture.”
Volvo collaborated with Bowers & Wilkins and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to recreate the articulate sound of the Gothenburg Concert Hall in the cabin of the XC60. $3,200 will allow you to Opt up to the fifteen speakers, integrated air-ventilated subwoofer, and you will get a superior sound with 1,100 watts for that most demanding audiophile.
Volvo’s claim to fame has always been safety, and the 2018 Volvo XC60 adds collision avoidance up to 37 mph, oncoming lane mitigation that warns if there is not enough room to pass and city safety that incorporates steering support around an unseen pedestrian operating between 31 and 62 mph. Blind-spot detection with steering assist with a host of other safety will be optional at $1,800.
There will be three different engine choices with three different models;
2018 Volvo XC60 T5
T5 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will deliver 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo says the T5 will go 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds.
2018 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD MOMENTUM – $41,500
2018 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD R-DESIGN – $44,800
2018 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD INSCRIPTION – $45,300
2018 Volvo XC60 T6
T6 is a gas-powered turbo-and-super charged engine that will provide 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo says the T6 will go 0-62 mph in 5.6 seconds.
2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD MOMENTUM – $44,900
2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD R-DESIGN – $48,200
2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD INSCRIPTION – $48,700
2018 Volvo XC60 T8
T8 is an e-AWD Twin Engine Plug-In Electric Hybrid that will offer 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft. of torque. Volvo says the T8 will go 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds.
2018 Volvo XC60 T8 eAWD MOMENTUM – $52,900
2018 Volvo XC60 T8 eAWD R-DESIGN – $56,200
2018 Volvo XC60 T8 eAWD INSCRIPTION – $56,700
Volvo is not committing to one battery maker right now, even though they are using LG Lithium-ion batteries in the current cars. In the first drive for the 2018 Volvo XC60, I spoke with Olle Fast, Volvo’s Project Leader for propulsion power systems, about Volvo’s plug-in hybrid battery system and goals for the future, “Currently we use a Lithium-ION LG Chem battery. Battery development is up, and the price is going down. Since development is so quick, we are not committing to one battery strategy. In the time that we have brought out the XC90 plug-in hybrid to bringing out the XC60 plug-in hybrid now the cell chemistry energy has gone from 9.2 to 10.4 kWh in the same volume, and usage has increased by almost twenty percent. ”
*Volvo says there will be a $5,002 Federal Tax Credit for the 2018 Volvo XC60 T8.
*destination charge – $995
The three models; Momentum, R-Design, Inscription
The Momentum model is the base model that still has leather seats, LED headlamps, and a panoramic glass roof. Add $3,300, and you will get you the sporty R-Design, which adds paddle-shifters and different wheels. Add $3,800, over the Momentum, and you get all the luxe items on the Inscription model such as 4-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch driver digital display (instead of analog instrumentation), and a cooled glovebox. Opt for the optional $1,800 air suspension that adds adjustable ride height. You can control the height from the trunk so that you can ride high on the road and unload low.
There is no shortage of power, or torque in the XC60 as we switch between comfort and dynamic drive mode. The SUV handles the twisty Barcelona backroads aptly. The 37.4-foot turning radius gets us out of jams and the low-end torque gets us up the hill with ease. I can’t wait to drive the T8 plug-in hybrid to get the low-end torque and driving range without gasoline.
This is the second SUV that Volvo has brought out that will set the bar for the other companies. The vehicles are solid, offer different engines, and an alternative engine that will propel out future. As much as Volvo was the first to be known for safety, they are also making a statement that they have no plans to lag behind in the quest for alternative energies.
Get solar panels, buy a Volvo XC60 PHEV, drive for life.
Competitors for the Volvo XC60 T5 AWD:
BMW X3 xDrive28i
Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro Premium
Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic
Competitors for the Volvo XC60 T6 AWD:
Competitors for the Volvo XC60 T8 AWD:
Jaguar F-Pace S AWD
Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC43 AWD
Porsche Macan Turbo AWD