It’s a plug-in hybrid with a 30 mile all-electric range! No, it’s a torquey diesel sportwagon!
Stop! You’re both wrong.
With the push of a button, the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid can be that and more, tripling as a diesel-fueled hybrid with a small carbon footprint. It can send power to the front wheels, the rear wheels or all four wheels. And it can be all of those things on a single trip with minimal input from the driver. It’s currently a concept set to debut at Geneva, but Volvo says they can have it in showrooms by 2012. We’ll eat pickled herring for a year if they bring the wagon to the US.
The magic switch
The key to the new V60 is a multi-modal switch on the dashboard. In “Pure” mode, it’s a commuter car with a 70-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels. The 12 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack offers a 30 mile range and can recharge fully in under three hours at a 16 amp outlet. Switch the selector to “Hybrid” and banish range anxiety with an astounding 125 mpg equivalent rating and a 745 mile range — enough to get from Luleå to Malmö on one tank of diesel.
That kind of range is news in its own right. But carbon-consciousness aside, sometimes you just want to floor it. And buying a second car for country road romps is hardly environmentally friendly. Set the V60 to “Power” and you can do 0-62 in 6.9 seconds with the combined 285 horsepower of diesel and electric motors putting out 472 ft-lbs of torque. Not bad from a Volvo wagon.
“In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure,” said Volvo Cars president Stefan Jacoby. As such, the latest hybrid V60 is meant to compliment Volvo’s electric C30 in dealer lots and owners’ garages.
In addition to its Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Gore personality, the V60 also features navigation technology that automatically selects the optimal combination of modes for each journey. Need diesel power and all wheel drive for a snowy freeway, but electricity for a dense urban center? No problem.
As a Volvo, of course the V60 Plug-In Hybrid will be armed to the teeth with safety features — just like the electric C30 they destroyed and brought to Detroit.
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