The Beast 2.0 has finally been unleashed. The Beast 2.0, a heavily customised version of Volvo Car South Africa’s popular XC60 plug-in hybrid, wowed attendees at the 2022 Festival of Motoring at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
The Swedish firm’s local division debuted The Beast three years ago at the previous running of the event, billing it as the most extreme XC90 the country had ever seen. Its electrified successor has now emerged, benefiting from subtle powertrain upgrades.
The Beast 2.0 is a one-of-a-kind SUV based on the Volvo XC60 T8 R-Design AWD but featuring a slew of carefully considered updates, ranging from a daring cosmetic makeover to notable performance upgrades.
The plug-in hybrid T8 is already the most potent XC60 in standard form, with total system outputs of up to 340 kW and 709 Nm. The Beast 2.0 now has even sharper reactions thanks to the addition of the Polestar Engineered package.
“The Beast stole the show in 2019 and had us itching to create a follow-up. As was the case with the original, the Volvo team and its suppliers had immense fun putting together The Beast 2.0, though this time we thought it fitting to use a powerful electrified model as the base,” says Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa.
The four-cylinder petrol engine in the one-off XC60 breathes out through a sport exhaust system supplied by Volvo specialists Heico Sportiv, making it the country’s first XC60 T8 to receive the Polestar Engineered engine calibration. The stainless steel system frees up even more power and includes active flap control.
As a result, the Beast 2.0 has two distinct acoustic personalities: a sporty growl from the petrol engine under aggressive throttle inputs and virtual silence when only the rear-mounted electric motor is activated in Pure mode (offering up to 81 km of emission-free driving thanks to the 18.8 kWh triple-layer battery pack).
The upgraded XC60’s bold exterior makeover also draws attention. The Beast 2.0 is wrapped in a high-gloss black finish, with slim yellow detailing on the front and rear bumpers, and this bright hue is repeated on the XC60-branded brake callipers and exterior badging, drawing inspiration from the R-Design specification (which includes a dark finish for items such as the grille and side-mirror caps) and riding on black 21-inch five-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels. It even has an aerodynamically efficient roof box with yellow Volvo branding.
The interior of the one-of-a-kind SUV now features Polestar yellow seatbelts. Four-zone climate control, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system, a massage function in the front, Volvo’s active chassis with air suspension, and up to four separate equipment packages are all standard (power seats, lighting, lounge, and driver assist packs).
Shannon Gahagan, Marketing, Volvo Car South Africa, says as the Swedish luxury firm continues its global journey toward becoming a fully electric car company by 2030, the XC60 T8 Recharge AWD was the ideal candidate for The Beast 2.0 treatment.
“The plug-in hybrid version of our XC60 is the perfect vehicle for South African buyers keen to sample an electric car while still having petrol as a back-up plan. With this particular example, we hope to alter some local perceptions around electrified vehicles and furthermore prove that being safe needn’t be boring. We think The Beast 2.0 does exactly that,” says Gahagan.