Volvo has long been dabbling in the field of plug-in hybrids, but the automaker is ready to showcase a production-ready 2012 V60 Plug-In Hybrid wagon at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Developed in partnership with European energy company Vattenfall, the V60 was developed in parallel with the automaker’s forthcoming C30 Electric, but that’s about where the similarities stop. The V60 sports all-wheel-drive, but allocates a 215-horsepower, 2.4-liter turbo-diesel I-5 to power the front wheels, while a 70-horsepower electric motor propels the rear axle. A 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is also integrated into the system.
How that powertrain is used is left entirely to the driver’s discretion. Three different drive modes -- including one that renders the V60 as a pure electric vehicle -- are selectable from behind the wheel. The so-called Pure method allows for up to 31 miles of pure EV driving. The conventional hybrid mode blends both power sources together to provide the most economical means of driving. A power mode combines both engine and electric motor to provide full power, and subsequently, all-wheel-drive.
In full power mode, the V60 PHEV can sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds, but opting for the more efficient hybrid mode can allow up to 745 miles of travel before refueling the tank and recharging the battery. Volvo expects charging time to range from as little as three hours when using a 16-amp, 240-volt charger, to 7.5 hours when using a 230-volt, 6-amp supply -- much like a conventional European household outlet. The car can also be pre-cooled or pre-warmed during charging, with those settings controlled either in the setup menu within the car in the car or via a mobile phone application.
The V60 Plug-In Hybrid is expected to launch in Europe sometime next year, and both pricing and rollout timing may be discussed next week at its Geneva debut. Executives have suggested the V60 PHEV may reach U.S. shores, but if it does, it may not retain the diesel engine. The swap could compromise range, but appeal to buyers in a traditionally diesel-unfriendly market.