Singapore, Feb. 1 -- Hybrids are usually a compromise, simply because they carry the weight of two powertrains.

As such, they are programmed to conserve energy (both fuel and electricity), even though many will allow short bursts when both engine and electric motor work in unison.

Plug-in hybrids, however, have the advantage of an external energy source: the wall socket. This gives them a wider performance envelope. They can be as green as you want them to be and as red-hot as you wish.

Volvo's new XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid is a case in point. It is equipped with a 2-litre inline-four that is both turbocharged and supercharged (like the XC60 T6), as well as a rear-mounted electric motor. The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack...