Swedish automaker Volvo has been pushing the envelope of safety technology for decades, but the last few years have seen the company start pushing green technology. In addition to advanced research projects like Volvo’s XC60 Plug-in Hybrid concept, the C30 Electric coupe, and the company’s flywheel hybrid system, Volvo’s green initiatives have led to cars that are nearly 90% recycled or recyclable, and SUVs that run so clean they’ve earned Partial Zero-emission Vehicle (PZEV) status. It’s that flywheel hybrid system that I’m focusing on today, and on it’s first practical application in a 2013 S60.
As with Volvo’s original test mule, the flywheel is mounted to the rear axle and drives the rear wheels, while the turbocharged 5 cylinder “T5” engine drives the fronts. The flywheel setup is good for up to 80 hp, and works in concert with the T5 for enhanced performance at the track and better MPG around town.
The result, Volvo says, is a 0-60 mph time of under 5.5 seconds, 1.5 seconds faster than the stock S60 T5. While Volvo’s tiny test track didn’t afford us much chance to test this, we can say the extra 80 horsepower boost from the KERS system gave the well-built Swede a sportier feel than its conventional S60 brothers. That “sportier feel” is something that the reporters at Green Car Reports got to experience firsthand – CLICK HERE to check out their test drive of the pre-production hybrid, which we may see in production applications as early as next year.
Source | Photos: Green Car Reports.