So the term “twin engine” has officially become a thing, and now the world is just a little more bonkers.
Cars have been using two engines, or perhaps motors would be a better word, since the advent of the hybrid vehicle. One motor runs on gas, and the other runs on electricity, both working together to provide fuel efficiency and power.
Volvo will sell its new XC90 with a similar setup, except it’ll market its flagship SUV as the XC90 T8 Twin Engine.
It sounds impressive, and it is. The two engines, though, are just the beginning.
The outgoing 2014 XC90 was powered by a 240-hp inline 6-cylinder. Previous versions offered an optional 311-hp V8. No 2015 model was released.
The new 2016 XC90 T8 Twin Engine will squeeze 394 hp from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine. How? Some of you might assume Volvo will do it with a turbocharger. Some might guess a supercharger.
And you all are correct.
To increase fuel efficiency, an automaker will usually do one of four things:
- Opt for gas/electric hybrid technology
- Use a small-displacement engine
- Use a supercharger
- Use a turbocharger
The 7-seat SUV will have an electric motor, capable of propelling the SUV for 17 gas-free miles. That motor is connected to the small gas engine, which in turn is paired with a supercharger and a turbocharger to wring every possible pony out of the little mill.
Yes, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine uses all the tricks in the book. It’s supercharged and turbocharged. That’s like adding Red Bull to your coffee. Magic.
Using both kinds of forced-induction is known as “twincharging” and isn’t unheard of, but it is remarkably rare in production vehicles. There’s no word yet on what kind of fuel-economy numbers this technology will achieve, but they should be considerably better than the 18 mpg the current rig gets.
All of these goodies come at a price, of course. The base T8 trim is the Momentum and is priced at $68,100. The R-Design is a performance-oriented trim and comes in at $70K even, while the top-of-the-line Inscription model will retail for $71,600. None of those prices include Volvo’s $995 destination charge.
All that technology is pretty cool, but prices of used XC90s should drop once the new model hits the market. Seventy thousand dollars for two engines and two forced-induction systems sounds great, but $10,000 for an older XC90 sounds even better.
What car would you like to see twincharged?