Volvo might share technology with Geely to make it more competitive in China

Article by Christian A., on April 23, 2012

A decision will have to be made soon by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. on whether to let Volvo Cars share technology with Geely or make the Chinese brand compete with other segments alone. In 2010, Geely bought Volvo from Ford. Li Shufu, the chairman of Geely and Volvo, said that developing a China-only "premium" co-brand will mean that directly competing with Volvo could be prevented.

But for this to work, Li has to achieve a delicate balance. When Li was interviewed at the Hangzhou headquarters, he said that keeping Geely “from dying” requires a lot of hard work. He mentioned that one of the ways to accomplish this is to mesh Geely’s mass-market cars with Volvo technology.

Li said that if it does borrow from Volvo’s technology, it will make sure that Geely cars (either the current brands or the new China-only brand) won’t damage Volvo's more upscale brand image. Li said that this premium brand would be positioned between Geely and Volvo.

He said that improving Geely cars will require advanced technology but at the same time, Geely cars have to be regarded as cars for the masses. The dilemma now is to balance “affordability and good technology."

Li said that Geely has to get an edge as competition in China (the world’s largest market by sales volume) has become so fierce. Under the technology sharing being envisioned, Geely’s engineering capabilities will have to be improved to get a solid foundation.

Volvo Car Corporation will unveil a ground-breaking gasoline plug-in hybrid at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept combines an electric car, an economical hybrid, and a high-performance car into one vehicle. One touch of a button is all a driver needs to choose how the high-performance gas engine and the electric motor are to be used.

Pure Hybrid Power - three cars in one

The driver can select the mode through the three buttons located on the instrument panel for one of three distinct performances: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

In Pure mode, it is the electric motor that powers the car. With an operational range of up to 35 miles (charge depleting range, U.S certification driving cycle), there are no tailpipe emissions in city traffic. The European certification driving cycle NEDC range is 45 km.

The car is started in the standard setting of Hybrid mode. The gasoline and electric motors work together for maximal driving enjoyment with minimal environmental effect. The European certification driving cycle NEDC is CO2 emissions at 53 g/km (2.3 l/100 km). This means that it has a fuel efficiency of more than 100 mpg. With U.S. certification standards including electric energy emissions, continuous driving should have a 50-mpg combined fuel economy. The car’s total range is up to 600 miles (960 km).

Power mode optimised the engines for the greatest possible power. The 280 hp and 380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.) gas engine combine with the 70 hp and 200 Nm (148 lb.-ft.) electric motor. The electric’s instant torque delivers acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds).

Four cylinders equal to six-cylinder power

The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept’s front wheels run as powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine from the upcoming VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine group. This engine creates 280 horsepower and 380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.) maximum torque. A new advanced eight-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to the wheels.

The concept car’s "T8" badge stresses the combined 350 horsepower of the innovative four-cylinder engine and electric motor, so the car moves into terrain where only eight-cylinder engines previously occupied.

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