First Look: 2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

2012-volvo-v60-plug-in-hybrid

We recently learned that Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby would consider selling the curvaceous Volvo V60 wagon in the States as a hybrid. Now the Swedish automaker is introducing a new 2012 V60 plug-in hybrid at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March.

This is not the first time we have seen Volvo's plug-in hybrid system; Volvo's has previously revealed specifications on the system. The system in the production V60 PHEV is a further development of the system Volvo began developing in conjunction with Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall and showed in a V70 wagon in 2009.

"This second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a car with low carbon dioxide emissions packed with driving pleasure," Jacoby said in a prepared statement.

Volvo and Vattenfall's system, called Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD), uses an electric motor to propel the rear axle -- in this case one that produces 70 horsepower. The electric motor is powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which enables the car to drive up to 30 miles on electricity alone. Once the battery is depleted, a 215-horsepower, 2.4-liter turbo-diesel I-5 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission kicks in to drive the front wheels. According to Volvo, the V60 PHEV gets around 124 mpg on the European combined cycle.

While we know for sure we won't ever see the non-hybrid V60 on this side of the pond, we may eventually see it with the hybrid setup. Jacoby hinted at such a U.S. offering, and a Volvo spokesperson confirmed there has been such talk, but nothing is confirmed. The spokesperson also confirmed our suspicion that if the V60 PHEV does make its way to the States, it may not be with a diesel engine. The availability of a diesel would be dependent on U.S. emissions standards.

It may be some time before any hard information about the V60 PHEV's U.S. availability comes out, but we'll learn more about the diesel-electric hybrid bound for Europe at the Geneva Motor Show this March. The car is set to go on sale by 2012.

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