The new concept car builds on technology developed for the V60 PHEV diesel wagon, which Volvo calls its “most technically advanced model ever.”
Volvo announced today that it will unveil the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new concept car builds on technology developed for the V60 PHEV diesel wagon, which Volvo calls its “most technically advanced model ever.” The V60 will launch this year in Europe, but alas, there are no current plans to sell it in the States – apparently Volvo decided we Americans would prefer the XC60, a mid-size gasoline-electric SUV.
Both new Supervolvos feature a unique drivetrain arrangement. A 280-hp four-cylinder gasoline engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission drive the front wheels, while the rear wheels are powered by a 70-hp electric motor and a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor of the load compartment. The gas engine belongs to a new family that the company calls Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA), a modular design that claims to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than ever.
The XC60’s driver can choose from three driving modes. In Pure mode the electric motor is used as much as possible. The all-electric range is up to 35 miles. In Hybrid mode the two motors cooperate to deliver combined fuel economy of about 50 mpg. In Power mode, the engines team up to crank out 350 hp, launching the XC60 from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. There’s also an electric four-wheel drive option.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby outlined plans for the company’s electric future. "This world-class gasoline plug-in hybrid technology, featuring a state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine from our upcoming Volvo Environmental Architecture engine family, will reach our American showrooms in a couple of years. However, it is too early to say which model will be the first to feature this solution.
"A plug-in hybrid is the ideal eco-car for today's conditions. It gives a large proportion of motorists sufficient range on electricity for their daily commute. More than half of U.S. drivers cover less than 30 miles a day.
"Our goal is to be a leading brand within fuel efficiency. In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid we emphasize how a blend of state-of-the-art combustion technology and innovative electrification can be an unbeatably attractive bridge to a future where the all-electric cars become more established in the market."