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Volvo XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid arrives in South Africa

Close to a third of Volvo models sold in January were recharge models, all equipped with Android

Volvo Car South Africa today announced the local introduction of the highly anticipated XC60 T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid, in the next phase in the Swedish manufacturer’s shift towards electrification.

“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,” says Greg Maruszewski, MD of Volvo Car South Africa.

The XC60 T8 Recharge arrives at the right time, he says, with local interest in electrified vehicles growing fast. Globally, sales of Recharge models increased 11.5% year-on-year in January 2022, accounting for 31.7% of all Volvo vehicles sold around the world during the month. 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.”

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 comes at a price: starting 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”, says Volvo, with the latest version of its popular mid-size SUV boasting a pure electric range of up to 81km, a combined fuel consumption of 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, with built-in Google apps and services. Volvo was the first automaker to integrate its cars directly with Google Assistant-enabled devices. The number of services available through the Volvo Cars app also increases, thanks to the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid configuration, allowing owners to precondition the cabin remotely, without having to start the engine, and 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.

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.

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