Rumor: Volvo V60 Wagon might arrive in the United States as a hybrid

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2011

While Volvo Cars CEO Stefan Jacoby hasn’t exactly confirmed that the V60 will appear in its lineup for the North American market, he also didn’t dismiss the idea entirely. During a dinner sponsored by Volvo on the eve of the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Jacoby was asked if more wagons, as well as manual transmissions, and R cars, will be offered in the U.S.

He responded by noting that a wagon such as the V60 was an “enthusiast’s vehicle” and may be made available in the U.S. but it has to offer something unique like maybe a hybrid badge.

This response isn’t enough to make us all excited about the prospect of a V60 hybrid but it now seems likely that the carmaker is serious about it. The V70 has now retired from the US market and the smaller V60 has not been introduced yet.

Jacoby’s description of the model being an “enthusiast’s” car could mean that it is fast as well as environmentally friendly – both aspects that carry a premium.

Meanwhile, cars such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have been impressive by having their own unique body styles. With Volvo using the new V60 wagon for its first North American hybrid, it would have a packaging that has a unique body configuration.

Here comes the Volvo V60, a sports wagon that is said to be as sporty as the Volvo S60 but features extra room and more functionality. Volvo Cars Design Director Peter Horbury remarked that many customers who were able to take a closer look at the new V60 during its development process felt that sports wagon is as sporty as the new S60.

Volvo Cars President and chief executive Stephen Odell quipped that the typical sports wagon buyer is an S60 customer seeking extra space and flexibility, sans any tradeoff on athletic styling and driving attributes.

He noted that not only is competition strong in the sports wagon segment, customers also know exactly what they want. Because of these factors, Volvo further improved the sense of exclusive quality of the V60’s interior and loaded it with an array of safety and convenience elements.

The new Volvo V60 features a pronounced wedge shape and a slim coupe-like roof line, both accentuated by the shoulder profile along the sides. This, in turn, creates a subtle yet dynamic double wave starting from the headlamps to the tail lamps.

Örjan Sterner, head of exterior design for the new Volvo V60, remarked that they focused on making the car as close to a coupe as possible, while still giving it the extra rear space. He noted that the V60 is not competing with the traditional estate car, adding that customers seeking plenty of cargo space could avail of the Volvo V70 or XC70.

Sterner added that the dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the V60 down, thereby improving the stance while making the vehicle seem sleeker and lower.

Also helping highlight the V60’s sporty feel are its sculpted bonnet and the short overhangs on the front and rear. Volvo expects European customers to account for around 90 percent of annual V60 sales. The carmaker is planning to produce 50,000 V60 annually.

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