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Volvo S60 T8 Plug-in hybrid

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By Jonathan Crouch

Volvo's S60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid offers a quicker, cooler option amongst premium mid-sized plug-hybrid saloons. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 89

Volvo's S60 T8 plug-in Hybrid is a really quick mid-sized premium badged saloon, but this fast four-door isn't just about performance. Here, turbocharging, supercharging and electrification are combined not only for rapid point-to-point power but also for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this ambitious Swedish model's huge engine output. There's a significant price to pay for this technology and you'll need to tailor your motoring life to suit what this car can offer but if you can deal with these caveats, then this is a potentially very likeable package.

Backgroundword count: 132

If you're looking at a mid-sized premium-badged saloon and want the convenience of plug-in hybrid power, there are two obvious market choices, BMW's 330e and the Mercedes C 300 e EQ Power, with both cars requiring a starting budget of around £40,000. Volvo's S60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid requires a slightly higher budget than that (think around £56,000) but it offers more power, lavish equipment and the appeal that comes with a car that's just that little bit more unique and different. Plus of course, the usual PHEV virtues feature here and as with the brand's other designs, this car's technology is based around the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine block that the company's been using for the last decade. Here though, you get it in the most sophisticated form the marque can offer.

Driving Experienceword count: 309

By the time this third generation S60 model was launched, Volvo had refined its PHEV powertrain quite a lot, primarily through the introduction of a larger 11.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, making up to 55.9 miles possible on battery power alone. But the basic plug-in set-up remains much as we saw it when it was first introduced in the XC90 SUV back in 2015. So there's a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine which is mated to an 145hp electric motor sited on the back axle. The powerplant comes in a 310hp level of output, meaning that 455hp is available in total. It's all enough to deliver a set of stats that it's rather hard to get your head around. All that power offsets the extra weight of all these mechanicals, so 62mph from rest can still be dispatched very rapidly indeed in just 4.6, though top speed (as with all current Volvos) is limited to 112mph. You've to put alongside all this performance capability the potential for the kind of fuel and CO2 readings that theoretically could equal those of a frugal supermini. Which of those two extremes you reach in an S60 T8 Plug-in model will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all Volvo Plug-in hybrid models are offered. Ultimate speed is delivered by a 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power. There's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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