Gram Lights

Car makers are now tasked to desperately find fuel efficiency whenever and however they can.  The easiest way to accomplish that goal is to downsize the size of the motor then slap on a turbo and call it a day.  The problem with doing that is a phenomena called turbo lag.  For the uninitiated, turbo lag is the sensation of little to no power until the turbo has enough pressure to build boost.  This is a common dilemma when bolting on a turbo to a smaller engine.  To solve that you can bolt on a smaller turbo but then you lose high end power so there is really no winning….until now.

Volvo. a few years back. introduced their twin charged motor…that is supercharged and turbocharged.  Now if you are tuner then your head is now filled with horrible images of some mangled looking H22 with crappy piping and a laughably short life span.  But Volvo developed this little jewel of a motor with the smoothness and horsepower of a V6, torque bordering on a V8 and a midrange punch of a tuned turbo motor.  It’s utterly fantastic.

Now it works like this:  Off the line the supercharger gives you the initial shove and once you start passing the high RPM mark the blower disengages and the turbo takes over from there.  The transition between both units is imperceptible and the power delivery is immediate.  Around town the midrange punch is intoxicating and giggle inducing.

Now unto the XC60 itself.  It’s been around since 2009 but its styling remains as contemporary as ever.  It’s bold, athletic and lithe.  The seats are one of the absolute best on the market, rear hatch room is huge and the instrumentation is easy to read.  The only real let down is the archaic infotainment rig.  It’s just not good and not intuitive to use.  Volvo has a new infotainment unit unveiled in the newly redesigned XC90 and S90…so expect the upcoming 2018 XC60 to be updated as well.

Bottom line?  I enjoyed the hell out of the 2017 Volvo XC60.  It’s different, comfortable, quick, efficient (22 MPG) and obviously safe.  If you are shopping for a premium midsize crossover…drive a  2017 Volvo XC60 T6!