Disappointing news for American lovers of Volvo station wagons: Senior VP Lex Kerssemakers told the Australian outlet Drive that the company will not offer the V60 diesel plug-in hybrid wagon globally. Instead, Yanks and Aussies will have to settle for a gasoline plug-in powertrain that will debut in the new XC90 SUV in late 2014.
“At the moment we launch the XC90, we will also launch the petrol plug-in version,” said Kerssemakers. “We have the four-cylinder turbo strategy – where we go full for four cylinders. We have a 300-plus horsepower (220 kW) engine – and then we get the electrification. So you end up with a 600 Nm-plus car. It’s the right combination between power and fuel efficiency. We have very efficient powertrains, combined with electrification, that’s always good. It’s always better than V6s or V8s. We want to have the power of the V6 and V8, however in a very modest way.”
Volvo’s diesel PHEV has been extremely successful in Europe. However, it’s no secret that American buyers have shown little interest in diesels, and loads of interest in SUVs, so this announcement is no great surprise.
Diesel devotees need not despair, however, as Kerssemakers did leave a liftgate open for the future: “We will switch to petrol hybrid, to switch later to diesels. But we had to make choices, and petrol is simply the most global fuel.”