In its current guise, Volvo’s new V60 won’t be sold in the United States, but new reports suggest executives are looking at potentially offering the wagon in our market as a hybrid.
The Volvo lovers at Swedespeed sat down with Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby during the Detroit auto show. When pushed about offering the V60 in the U.S., Jacoby indicated it could be brought to our market, but would need to offer something unique -- “like a hybrid” powertrain. Another source within the automaker confirmed Volvo’s product planners are considering such a vehicle.
Creating a hybrid wagon may seem like carving a niche from an already small niche (Volvo recently abandoned its conventional wagon offerings in the U.S. in favor of its XC line of crossovers), but it could very well cater to both Volvo and hybrid enthusiasts alike. Additionally, it would allow the company to sell its hybrid hardware in a unique vehicle package here in North America.
We wouldn’t be surprised if a V60 hybrid bears some mechanical resemblance to the diesel-electric plug-in hybrid system previously tested in V70 prototypes. The plug-in system, developed in partnership with Swedish utility company Vattenfall, provided a 745-mile range with both a full tank and a full charge (the EV-only range is roughly 30 miles), and achieve somewhere around 117 mpg on the European combined test cycle.
Volvo has promised to push this system into production in Europe by 2012, but there’s still no word on when such a system could arrive in the U.S., or if it will continue to be paired with a diesel when offered here in the States. You tell us, Volvo fans -- does the idea of a diesel-powered hybrid wrapped within the V60’s sleek sheet metal sound like something needed here in North America? Sound off in the comments section below.