Despite discontinuing the C30 and C70 sporty coupes this year, Volvo brought quite a bit of Swedish excitement to this year’s Geneva Auto Show, where the company announced revised versions of its S60 and S70 sedans and XC60 and XC70 sport-utility vehicles.
That’s fully 80% of the company’s US product offerings, which has seemed a bit light in both green-tech and “Volvo wagon” headlines – especially considering the company’s recent green tech advances. That “lightness” seems to be a thing of the past, however, since the latest rumors out of Gothenburg have the Swedish automaker has plans to bring its V60 wagon to the US market in 2014.
If so, the V60 would be the first new Volvo wagon to come to the US in nearly a decade – which seems strange for a brand that, to many enthusiasts, is synonymous with wagons.
The V60 would feature Volvo’s new bike-friendly City Safety system as standard, as well as an innovative, digital instrument cluster that can be set with a green “eco-themed” setting, providing positive reinforcement for conservative driving and hyper-milers trying to eke out every last drop of efficiency from their new Volvos (in line with the company’s “Every Drop Counts” campaign). More exciting (to me, anyway) is the possibility that the plug-in hybrid version of the V60 will also make it Stateside.
From the company’s Geneva PR, the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is “in a class of its own,” with “class-leading” 48 g/km emissions and 130 mpg fuel economy. “We’ve made the car look more purposeful and dynamic, reflecting its personality. And your every interaction with your car is more intuitive, expressive and customisable,” says Patrik Widerstrand, one of the heads of Volvo’s design department.
The plug-in version of the Volvo V60 wagon’s front wheels are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4 l turbo-diesel engine producing 215 hp, which is supplemented at the rear axle by an electric motor drawing 70 hp from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor.
The Volvo PR “hot-points” include …
- In Pure mode, the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The range is up to 50 km (about 30 miles)
- Hybrid is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor cooperate to achieve CO2 emissions (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) of 48 g/km (1.8 l/100km, or approx. 130 mpg)
- In Power mode, the technology is optimised to give the car the maximum possible power. The diesel engine and electric motor combine to deliver a total power output of 215+70 hp and maximum torque of over 600 Nm (about 440 lb-ft). The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds
… which makes the V60’s introduction to the US market seem like a no-brainer to me. Expect to hear a decision within the year, and expect to get a more “hands-on” review of the new Volvo plug-in hybrid system this weekend (I’ll be playing with one this Thursday! WOOT!).