Earlier this year were were granted exclusive access to Volvo’s Gothenburg headquarters where we were given a sneak peak of its 2012 V60 Plug-in Hybrid a full week before its official unveiling at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Although we were given a chance to look at the V60 PHEV’s familiar styling and quiz both designers and engineers about its performance and technology, Volvo wasn’t ready for test-drives at that time.
Our disappointment must have been obvious, because a few weeks ago Volvo invited us to be among the first journalists to sit behind the wheel of its first production plug-in vehicle at the 2011 Michelin Challenge Bibendum.
The event, which has taken place for the past four years, represents the ultimate in green car testing. Over the five days of the event, alternative fueled cars, electric vehicles and plug-in vehicles will be put through their paces with tests covering everything from fuel economy and speed to road holding, reliability and practicality.
On paper the Volvo V60 PHEV looks well suited to the economy challenges, with an all-electric range of 32 miles per charge, a combined range of 746 miles using Diesel and electric power, and an estimated fuel economy of as much as 150 miles per gallon.
Automakers take the event very seriously, so while professional test-drivers will be sitting behind the wheel for the majority of tests we’ll be given the opportunity to test-drive the V60 plug-in hybrid as part of the entrant parade held at the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday next week.
Volvo won’t be just entering the V60 PHEV in the event though. It will be joined by the Volvo C30 Electric we drove earlier this year, as well as a 1.6 liter diesel-powered Volvo V50 DRIVe.
You can be sure we’ll be bringing exclusive reports from the event, including a first-drive report. You can also follow our live tweets from the event by following us on twitter.
But what do you want to know about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid? Perhaps you'd like to know about the ride quality, or the load-carrying capabilities? Or perhaps you're curious to know how the through-the road hybrid drivetrain works? Let us know in the Comments below.