Volvo Electrifies Its Standard Models With Hybrid Engines

The automaker has ambitious plan to go fully electric by 2030.

Volvo has announced that the 2022 XC60 and V90 Cross Country models will now come standard with a mild hybrid powertrain
Volvo announced that the 2022 XC60 and V90 Cross Country models will now come standard with a mild hybrid powertrain.

Marc Carter

Earlier this year Volvo announced an ambitious plan to go fully electric by 2030, which will see the phase-out of any vehicles that use an internal combustion engine, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids. While Volvo’s goal is still almost a decade away, the automaker is already making great strides to electrify its lineup. This includes the recent introduction of the fully electric XC40 and C40 Recharge models and plug-in hybrid versions of its existing models.

“To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future – electric and online,” stated Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”

Now Volvo is taking the next step, by electrifying its standard models. Volvo announced that the 2022 XC60 and V90 Cross Country models will now come standard with a mild hybrid powertrain, which not only improves fuel efficiency but also improves their overall driving performance. This means that both models will only be available with electrified powertrains, which include the mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions. Electrification for all.

The new powertrains, called B5 and B6 mate a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The B5 powertrain is turbocharged to give it 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the B6 powertrain gets an electric supercharger and a turbocharger to give it 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet Thanks to the new integrated starter generator, the powertrains feel more responsive due to the extra torque that’s available immediately.

The good news is that the new mild hybrid powertrains slightly improve the efficiency of the XC60 and V90 Cross Country. The XC60 B5 is rated at 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined, which is an improvement over last year’s model, which was rated at 20/27/23 mpg. The more powerful XC60 B6 is rated at 21/27/24 mpg. The 2022 V90 Cross Country is only available with the B6 powertrain and is rated at 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, which is an improvement from 20/30/24 mpg.

Volvo gave us the opportunity to drive both the 2022 XC60 and V90 Cross Country models and the improvements to the powertrain add a sportier feel. The electric generator also reduces any turbo lag, making the acceleration feel more linear. More fun to drive and improved fuel efficiency provides buyers with the best of both worlds.

In addition to the new electrified powertrains, Volvo has also updated the styling of both the XC60 and V90 Cross Country to make them look sportier and at the same time reduce the focus on the internal combustion engine. At the rear, the tailpipes on the previous models are now hidden to make it look more like an EV.

Inside both models get some tech upgrades, including a new 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an updated infotainment system with Google built-in. The infotainment system now runs Google Maps for navigation, while Google Play has been added to play your favorite music. There’s also a Google Assistant for any voice-activated needs.

The introduction of the new B5 and B6 powertrains are a great next step in Volvo’s electrification plans, but they will be short-lived since Volvo is aiming for 50 percent of its global sales to be fully electric vehicles by 2025.

“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. “We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030. It will allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change.”