Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid ConceptEnlarge Photo
Volvo might have already started production on its first plug-in hybrid wagon -- the 2012 V60 Diesel Plug-in Hybrid -- but as we’ve told you before, the Swedish automaker doesn’t think the U.S. is ready for a diesel plug-in hybrid yet.
But at next week’s 2012 Detroit Auto Show, Volvo will unveil the XC60 Crossover Plug-in Hybrid concept car: a vehicle built to illustrate Volvo’s plans to bring a plug-in hybrid car to the U.S.
A few weeks ago, we were given an exclusive presentation about the XC60 when we visited Volvo’s Gothenburg headquarters. Now we can tell you more about this exciting plug-in concept, designed with the U.S. in mind.
Same Technology, With One Difference
Just like the 2012 Volvo V60 Diesel Plug-in Hybrid, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid concept is a through-the-road hybrid, where the front wheels are driven by a conventional gasoline engine and small electric motor, while the rear wheels are solely driven by an electric motor.
In fact, the XC60 shares almost every part of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid’s drivetrain, from its 12 kilowatt-hour (8 kilowatt-hour used) lithium-ion battery pack and 50 kilowatt peak rear-wheel drive motor. But instead of a 2.4 liter Diesel engine, the XC60 plug-in concept is the first Volvo car to make use of its new range of Turbocharged, four cylinder VEA engines. Smaller and lighter than previous generation engines, the 2.0 liter gasoline engine will produce 280 horsepower and around 280 pound-feet of torque.
The extra horsepower over the D5 diesel engine found in the 2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid means the XC60 plug-in concept is a little faster, taking just 5.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. Where permitted, it will go on to a top speed of 130 mph.
Yes, It Tows Too
Volvo executives are keen to point out that the XC60 concept doesn’t loose any of the capabilities of its gasoline sibling because it uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. In fact, it outperforms a traditional gasoline-engined XC60.
That even includes towing, with the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid just as happy to tow 3,300 pounds as the current 2012 XC60 gasoline lineup. In fact, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid benefits from the best torque figures of any XC60 yet. With 427 pound feet of combined electric and gasoline grunt, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid is the perfect towing green machine.
New York to Detroit On A Single Tank
Volvo claims the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept can travel up to 600 miles on a tank of gasoline and a fully-charged battery. That’s on a useable 8 kilowatt-hours of electricity and a 14 gallon tank of gasoline.
That equates to a hybrid fuel economy of around 50 mpg.
When used in all-electric mode, Volvo claims the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept can travel up to 35 miles on a single charge, resulting in a fuel economy equivalence of 105 MPGe.