Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid details announcedDiesel-electric Volvo claims 49g/km CO2 and 150mpg
23 February 2011
Volvo will unveil an almost production-ready diesel plug-in hybrid concept, based on the V60 estate, at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be powered by Volvo’s existing five-cylinder 2.4 litre D5 turbodiesel engine and an electric motor. It can produce 281bhp and 472lb ft of torque (pulling power); both outputs are significantly higher than the conventional unit.
In spite of this, the claimed efficiency and emissions figures are truly astonishing for a spacious estate.
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: three-mode drive
Volvo describes the V60 Plug-in Hybrid as three cars in one, capable of switching between Pure, Hybrid and Power modes at the press of a button.
Pure sees it function as an electric vehicle as much as possible. Using its on-board lithium ion battery pack, the V60 can travel up to 32 miles on electric power alone – and since it’s a plug-in hybrid, the battery pack can be charged via a standard power socket.
Hybrid is the default mode. This uses both the diesel engine – which drives the front wheels in a conventional manner via a six-speed automatic gearbox – and the electric motor. For this system, Volvo has chosen a 69bhp Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD), which like Peugeot’s Hybrid4 system, operates on the rear wheels only, simplifying the integration.
Power mode, meanwhile, maximises performance. The full combined power and torque output are deployed, creating an environmentally friendly four-wheel drive Volvo estate capable of 62mph in just 6.9 seconds.
Find out more about diesel hybrid cars here
49g/km CO2, 150mpg…
Volvo claims the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will emit just 49g/km of CO2, with fuel economy of up to 150mpg.
Total range is quoted as up to 746 miles, while in real world usage Volvo expects the Plug-in Hybrid’s fuel consumption to be around a third of a conventional V60 turbodiesel.
This will help compensate for the inevitably higher purchase price of the Plug-in Hybrid – battery packs and ERADs aren’t cheap. Volvo will confirm the actual cost nearer the on-sale date in 2012.
As you would expect from Volvo, the company is taking hybrid safety very seriously.
Jan Ivarsson, Senior Safety Manager at Volvo Cars said: ‘We apply the same high safety standards to all our products, but the safety-related challenges may differ depending on the driveline. To us, electric technology is another exciting challenge in our quest to build the safest cars on the market.’
These challenges include additional weight, the need for additional systems to monitor the additional components, and safety during and after a collision.
Get more from Which? Car
Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK's only independent car guide (we don't take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We've dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It's on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury's, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.
Email: Stay in touch with all the up-to-date car news, hot deals, latest first drives and reviews posted on our website each week. Sign up to the Which? weekly email to receive our free Friday bulletin.