What is it?
Volvo’s stated ambition to become an electric-only car maker within 20 years seems quite ambitious when the firm still hasn’t got a full EV on a UK driveway yet, although that’s still nothing on what the UK government expects car makers to do even inside that time frame.
However, since Volvo’s own headline-grabbing announcement a few months ago (one of several Volvo has made post-Dieselgate, including making every car electrified from this year and launching no new models with a diesel option), Volvo has revealed the all-electric XC40 Recharge, swiftly started rolling out more plug-in hybrids, and now new mild hybrids, too. Almost as if a progressive, phased approach towards electrification seemed like a better idea than a blanket ban, allowing consumers to take steps they feel comfortable with.
Now those mild hybrids have arrived in the XC60 range to replace the standard non-electrified engine options previously on sale. Offered on petrol and diesel XC60s in both front and four-wheel-drive forms, the new system adds a 48V starter motor/generator, and a battery sited in the boot can regenerate power through braking to then aid the engine under acceleration.
The engine capacity is 2.0 litres whether it's petrol or diesel, and the gearbox is always an eight-speed automatic. Confusingly, Volvo uses a B5 name for this new system whether it’s a petrol or a diesel model, with B4 used for a less powerful version of the diesel with it equipped. We’re testing a petrol B5 with the optional four-wheel drive.