Hybrid Cars Volvo V60 Hybrid

Published on March 13th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


Plug-in Diesel Hybrid Volvo Wagon May be Coming to America

Volvo V60 Hybrid

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!).

Sources: Volvo, via Autoblog, Swedespeed.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • M@

    If they certify the plug-in hybrid B100 (100% Biodiesel) compatible they could have a serious hit on their hands with the green crowd… that’s the holy grail as far as I’m concerned:  a kid/family hauler that you can plug in everywhere when you’re in town, fuel it with B100 from the local co-op before you leave town, and while you’re on the road away from home mix in whatever is available at the gas station (usually just B10-B20)…

    That would make a serious dent in one’s personal carbon footprint (through the miracle of electricity aggregation, the home & small business electricity in Champaign-Urbana Illinois is 100% sustainably produced), and any trips longer than the battery would still be sustainable with B100.

    It would also make a hell of a dent in the nation’s foreign oil deficit.  If it were a mini-van version then it would also make a hell of a bump in a companies income graph!

    • Jo Borras

      I don’t know about any dents in the oil deficit (that all seems pretty contrived from where I sit, and – besides – there are many thousands of flex-fuel cars out there now that never taste bio-fuel), but it *would* be super-cool.

      • M@

        Indeed, the ethanol flex-fuel vehicles are a waste of technology:  Americans are motivated by green, but understandably the primary motivator for us is the amount of green in our wallets, not the green of the environment!  If you do the math for the majority of the time E85 is cheaper at the pump, but with the reduced fuel efficiency it’s MORE expensive over the long haul:

        http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/e85-vs-gasoline-comparison-test.htmlThis is *after* all of the federal subsidies for corn ethanol! Environmentally it’s a crap-shoot as to wether it is a net energy gain v. loss (ie, the amount of energy required to grow the corn and process the E85 is darn near the amount you get out of it)… E85 a very dark horse in both economic as well as environmental green.However if you broaden your definition of “flex-fuel” to include more-than E85 — electricity and B10/B20/B100, electricity can’t be beat in terms of both price-per-mile as well as environmental (even when produced with dirty coal it beats petroleum).  BioDiesel, like E85, has a fuel-economy hit — however with B100 it’s around 10% but with E85, because the engines are tuned to run best on gasoline it’s closer to a 25-30% per the Edmunds article.  And because you get more out of a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas, those converting from a gas car to a diesel-electric hybrid most likely wouldn’t notice it much.

        The bonus is that both diesel engines as well as electric motors last forever (compared to gasoline engines) and biodiesel actually scrubs and lubes a diesel engine.  The combination of the two technologies (electric and diesel) actually complement each other – diesel engines are notoriously hard to start in the winter, but the electric motor serves as a VERY big starting motor for the diesel engine, as well as an unlimited supply of electricity for fuel warmers and glo-plugs.  Plus with B100 (and electricity) there’s no environmental quandary about “Did we put more energy into manufacturing this fuel than we get out of it?” – it’s a clear cut win.

        And the clincher to the argument is that it’s a pathway to a complete win:  folks are currently running their privately built/converted vehicles on privately made B100 and veggie oil (recycled).  Someone could buy the vehicle and learn to use it with still-cleaner-than-gas-coal electricity and dino-diesel, and then migrate without changing their vehicle as prices drop and availability increases to green electricity and B100.  With E85, the best that you can do is get 85% of the way to freedom.  Biodiesel (and electricity) is much less toxic to the environment at large and in your family garage as well.  It’s a win-win-win.  And I predict it will be a huge win to the manufacturer that has the guts to bring it.

        • Jo Borras

          MATT!  I get it!!

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  • PermaPlate

    Hmm…I’m interested to see if Volvo can actually pull this off

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  • Guy With-camera

    This is GONNA BE MY NEXT CAR LEASE. 130 MPG!?!? Lets hope.

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