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Is Sweden about to outlast the plug-in hybrid SUV competition with the longer-range 2022 Volvo XC60 and XC90 Recharge?

The XC60 Recharge has a larger battery and, therefore, longer range for MY22.

Volvo Australia is getting ready for the launch of two updated plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that could blow away all other premium low-emissions SUVs.

While we’ve seen PHEV versions of the XC60 mid-size SUV and XC90 large SUV before, they’re getting a new powertrain for MY22, one that will deliver longer range – segment-leading, in fact – as well as higher performance.

Due to arrive locally in the first quarter of next year, the upgraded models, now universally dubbed Recharge, feature an 18.8kWh lithium battery (+7.2kWh) that provides up to an estimated 68km (XC60) or 72km (XC90) of WLTP-certified electric-only range, which is a 42 and 69 per cent improvement respectively.

Better yet, a more potent rear-mounted electric motor (108kW, +43kW) is fitted, lifting the so-called T8 powertrain’s combined output to 339kW/709Nm, up from the preceding 311kW/670Nm XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered and 300kW/640Nm XC90 T8.

The XC60 Recharge can sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, while the heavier XC90 Recharge takes half a second longer to hit triple digits. And when the former needs to slow down, it can come to a complete stop with the regenerative braking system’s new ‘one pedal’ mode.

As before, the PHEV powertrain also includes a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder unit that’s both turbocharged and supercharged, with drive still sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. That said, there’s more power on hand at lower engine speeds.

Either way, the Swedish brand says the new T8 powertrain should allow more owners to primarily drive their Recharge model in Pure Electric mode, with it estimating that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be reduced by up to 50 per cent (WLTP).

Australian pricing and full specification details for the MY22 XC60 Recharge and XC90 Recharge are yet to be announced, so stay tuned. For reference, their predecessors kick off from $95,353 and $116,990 plus on-road costs respectively.