If you�ve been on the hunt for a vehicle with great gas mileage, you�re likely familiar with the fuel-sipping hybrid and diesel powerplants that will give you the most miles per gallon. Now, Volvo plans to combine both elements with the introduction of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid next week at the Geneva Motor Show. �The V60 Plug-In Hybrid is billed as the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid, packing a 2.4-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel coupled with a 70-hp electric motor on the rear axle,� says Autoblog. �The hybrid diesel wagon enables the driver to select from one of three modes of propulsion: Pure for electric drive, Hybrid for alternating propulsion and Power for an extra boost from both.�
Volvo�s No Compromise ethos follows in the car�s specifications. Up front there�s a 2.4 liter, five-cylinder diesel engine married to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Producing 215 horsepower, it is supplemented by a 7 kilowatt electric motor, which enables the V60 Plug-in Hybrid to enter all-electric all-wheel drive mode when required.
Driving the rear wheels is a 50 kilowatt peak electric motor, making the V60 Plug-in Hybrid Wagon a through-the-road hybrid. Combined, the entire drivetrain system can produce an impressive 472 foot-pounds of torque, and, in power mode, accelerate the car from 0-62 mph in just 6.2 seconds.
All that torque comes in handy for towing too: Volvo claims the V60 Plug-in Hybrid Wagon can easily tow up to 1.9 tons, although fuel economy won�t be anywhere near the headline-grabbing 1.9 l/100km (124 mpg) it has achieved on the European test cycle.
This Volvo V60 will be priced lightly higher than a standard version, but the saving in fuel economy may outweigh the initial costs. In order to make the car as efficient as possible, Volvo has included a 2.4-liter inline 5-cylinder diesel motor that powers the front wheels of the car. This engine can produce 215hp and 440Nm of torque, giving the small car plenty of power. The major difference comes in the rear end, where an Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) unit gives power to the rear wheels. An electric motor that makes 70hp is given its charge by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack. These two systems together combine to make 285hp and 660Nm of torque and a rather quick hybrid acceleration of 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds.
In typical Volvo fashion, safety is a paramount concern. Many people in the industry are concerned about how large battery packs will react after collisions and Volvo has taken it under advisement during development. The battery pack in the V60 will be completely separated from the passenger compartment and encased by extra steel beams in the frame. If the battery were to be damaged in an accident special ducts have been incorporated into the structure to lead the gases out safely under the car. Other safety features including Collision Warning, Full Auto Brake, and City Safety will be standard on the new V60 and intend to keep occupants safe in all conditions.