The Australian-market Volvo XC60 is losing its T8 Polestar Engineered flagship, though there’s another plug-in hybrid waiting in the wings.

The local XC60 range will instead be topped by the Recharge Plug-In Hybrid, aligning Volvo’s mid-sized SUV with the smaller XC40 and larger XC90 which feature identically-named plug-in hybrids.

It’s set to arrive in January 2022, with Volvo Car Australia holding enough stock of the T8 Polestar Engineered to tide itself over until then.

The discontinuation of the T8 Polestar Engineered means there’ll be no more Polestar-branded vehicles in Volvo’s line-up, coinciding with the Polestar brand’s launch in November 2021.

The rest of the updated 2022 XC60 range touches down in August 2021, powered exclusively by mild-hybrid petrol powertrains.

The new Recharge Plug-In Hybrid will adopt the standard T8 PHEV tune, which means a drop in power and torque from the Polestar Engineered.

The regular T8 Recharge presently available in markets like Europe and North America produces 298kW of power and 640Nm of torque. It has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.

In contrast, the T8 Polestar Engineered produces 311kW and 670Nm and has a 0-100km/h time of 5.2 seconds.

Both T8 powertrains feature a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged, and which is mated to a 65kW/240Nm electric motor, an 11.6kWh battery, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Volvo claims a WLTP electric range of between 46 and 53km for the T8 Recharge, compared to 44km for the Polestar Engineered.

The Recharge Plug-In Hybrid will lose the Polestar Engineered’s sportier suspension tune, manually-adjustable Öhlins shock absorbers and Akebono six-piston brakes with gold calipers.

It’s expected, however, to feature the Polestar Engineered’s extra luxury accoutrements.

CarExpert understands the slightly shorter equipment list will correspond with a slightly lower price, likely pushing the plug-in XC60 below the $100,000 barrier. The T8 Polestar Engineered currently costs $100,960 before on-roads.

Over the B6 R-Design one rung down in the XC60 range, the Polestar Engineered currently adds:

  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • 15-speaker 1100W Bowers & Wilkins sound system
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Active Bending Lights
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated wiper blades
  • Headlight cleaners

Other features that will be standard on the Recharge and which are currently available on other XC60 models include a head-up display, heated front seats, a leatherette-wrapped dashboard, 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, semi-autonomous parking assist and a hands-free power tailgate.

Cosmetic tweaks for the extended 2022 XC60 range include new bumpers front and rear, with greater differentiation between regular and R-Design models.

The interior looks much the same as before, though there’s a new wireless charging pad positioned prominently on the centre console.

The touchscreen remains a 9.0-inch, portrait-oriented one, though it switches to the Android Automotive operating system.

That means you can receive over-the-air updates, download apps from Google Play, navigate using Google Maps, and use “Hey Google” as a voice prompt.

All model year 2022 Volvos will be either mild- or plug-in hybrids or all-electric, ahead of the company’s shift to an all-electric line-up by 2030.

MORE: Everything Volvo XC60

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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