2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid introduced in the UK

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 14, 2011

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has just become available in the United Kingdom. The world’s first production plug-in diesel hybrid is priced between GBP45,000 and 50,000, excluding what the government pays for the purchase of this clean car. The car is offered in just one color -- Electric Silver – and just with 17-inch aero wheels. It is powered by a 2.4-litre turbo diesel, which has an output of 215 HP and 440 Nm of torque.

In addition, it is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Its electric motor gives a 70hp power boost to the rear axle. It is propelled forward by a 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Three different modes (Pure, Hybrid and Power) are offered in the V60 Plug-In Hybrid. It has CO2 emissions of as low as 49 g/Km of CO2, comparable to that of a Prius PHEV.

V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first Volvo to feature the D6 badge on its tailgate. This means that its five-cylinder turbodiesel engine and electric motor together provide a performance level at par with the petrol-powered T6. A five-cylinder 2.4-liter turbodiesel engine provides 215 hp of max output and 440 Nm of peak torque to the front wheels of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid via six-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, an electric motor – powered by an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack fitted under the load compartment’s floor – provides 70 hp to the rear wheels. This compact lithium-ion battery pack contains 200 cells grouped into 10 modules. The temperature and charge level are monitored and compared by an integrated computer, with cooling provided for by an integrated water-cooling system driven by the Malibu’s climate unit.

Meanwhile, the new V60 Plug-in Hybrid is also specified with a completely digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM), a one-piece LED screen offering a wide array display options. Designed to replace the conventional analogue gauges, DIM allows a driver to select the specific information to display through the car's menu setup.

The new V60 Plug-in Hybrid now allows drivers to communicate through a mobile app, providing them access to certain smart functions like air conditioning, pre-cooling and after-cooling. Moreover, the app could remind them to connect the charge cable if drivers failed to do so at a pre-set time. Interestingly, the new V60 Plug-in Hybrid could be set in three driving modes each selectable through three buttons.

The standard setting upon startup is the Hybrid mode, in which diesel engine and electric motor work together to provide a delicate balance between driving enjoyment and the environment. In this mode, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid emits just 49 grams of carbon dioxide (NEDC, mixed driving cycle), which is equivalent to fuel consumption of 1.9 liters of diesel per 100km.

This means, that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid could travel up to up to 1,000 km. When drivers want to activate zero-emission pure-electric driving, Pure mode can be selected. In this mode, the electric motors work solely to allow drivers to travel up to 50 kilometers, with the actual electric range varying according to their driving style, terrain and climate.

When drivers want to drive in a more dynamic manner, Power mode allows them to employ the car’s max potential. In this mode, diesel engine and electric motor provide 285 hp (215 hp + 70 hp) of max output and 640 Nm (440 Nm + 200 Nm) of max torque. Thanks to the instant torque provided by the electric motor, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid could dash from nil to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

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