2012 Volvo V60 Diesel Plug-in Hybrid: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 21, 2011

Volvo revealed today the official details and specs of its so-called ‘world's first diesel plug-in hybrid’, a production-ready Volvo V60 with carbon dioxide emissions below 50 g/km. According to the manufacturer, the new car will hit the market in 2012 and was developed in co-operation with Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall.

As expected, the front wheels of the car are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel, delivering 215 hp and a maximum torque of 440 Nm.

Moreover, the rear axle features the ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the car delivers a total output of 285 hp and an impressive 640 Nm of torque.

The sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) is made in just 6.9 seconds. Volvo says that its new hybrid car is capable to offer a range powered only by the batteries of up to 32 miles or 51 km.

The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid offers three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power. As expected, in the Pure mode the car is powered only by the electric motor, while in the Hybrid mode the new vehicle is powered by both the diesel engine and the electric motor, delivering a fuel consumption of 150 mpg and a total range of up to 746 miles or 1200 km.

In the power mode, the vehicle delivers impressive performances and you can forget about the total range delivered by the Hybrid mode.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is recharged via a regular power socket (230V/6A, 10A or 16A). The charging time depends on the level of the current. A full 10A charge takes 4.5 hours. The time is shortened to 3 hours with 16A, while a charge in a 6A socket takes 7.5 hours.

Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be the first model from the brand to have the completely digital Driver Information Monitor. Instead of the standard analog gauges, there is instead the sole LCD screen where a number of different display options are shown.

Through the car menu set-up, the driver is able to determine what information to display. Communicating with the car through a mobile application has also been made available. With this, the driver can access a wide array of smart functions that include pre-cooling and after-cooling and air conditioning.

It can even be used to serve as a reminder that the charge cable needs to be connected, especially if this was not made at a predetermined time. On the tailgate of the V60 lies the D6 badge. This is because when the electric motor and the turbodiesel five-cylinder engine are combined, the performance has the same horsepower range observed from the gas-powered T6.

Powering the front wheels is the 2.4-liter turbodiesel 5-cylinder engine which delivers output of 215 hp and 440 Nm of maximum torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor meanwhile delivers 70 hp and is the one that powers the rear axle.

Power to the electric motor is all thanks to the 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that has been placed under load compartment’s floor. The hi-tech and compact battery pack is composed of 10 modules with each module having 20 cells.

In order to monitor the entire system and even compare the charge level and temperature of the 200 cells, the V60 utilizes an integrated computer. In addition, the battery pack even has an integrated water-cooling system run by the climate unit.

Press Release

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

There are many hybrids on the market, but none of them can match the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The world's first diesel plug-in hybrid is Volvo Car Corporation's most technically advanced model ever - an electric car, hybrid car and muscle-car all rolled into one. At the mere touch of a button you can choose which of your three cars you want to drive at any given moment in time.

The production version of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be launched in just one colour - Electric Silver. Sales get under way at the start of 2012, and the first cars will be built in the autumn of that year.

"Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Now we're taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver colour, an exclusive interior and generous standard equipment," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

The first 1,000 units of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid are only available in Electric Silver livery. The car is also distinguished by aero-designed 17-inch wheels, integrated exhaust tailpipes and a number of bodywork features in glossy black, such as the grille and the aerodynamic front spoiler.

The chromed "Plug-in Hybrid" emblem is found both on the lower part of the tailgate and in a smaller version on the front wings.

Exclusive interior

The interior of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has black leather upholstery with contrasting stitching and inlays of blue-grey wood. Other distinctive interior details include a leather-covered steering wheel, specially designed mats and a gear lever knob with integrated indicator.

The list of standard equipment includes features such as speed-dependent power steering, electrically adjustable driver's seat, parking sensors front and rear, Bluetooth phone link and Volvo on Call.

Standard is also the High Performance Multimedia DVD audio system with its 4x40 W amplifier, eight loudspeakers and seven-inch screen.

Smartphone app

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first Volvo to be launched with an entirely digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM). The conventional analogue gauges have been replaced by a one-piece LED screen offering a large number of display options. The driver can choose which information to show via the car's menu setup.

It is also possible to communicate with the car via a mobile app. This gives the owner access to a number of smart functions such as air conditioning, pre-cooling and after-cooling, and a reminder to connect the charge cable if this has not been done by a predetermined time.

The first Volvo with the D6 badge

On the car's tailgate there is a D6 badge. The reason is that the combined performance of the five-cylinder turbodiesel and electric motor puts the car firmly within the same horsepower range as the petrol powered T6.

The front wheels of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbodiesel producing 215 hp and maximum torque is 440 Nm. The car has a six-speed automatic transmission.

The rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. The electric motor is supplied with power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.

The sophisticated and exceptionally compact battery pack consists of 10 modules each containing 20 cells. An integrated computer monitors the system and compares temperature and charge level in each of the 200 cells. The battery pack also has an integrated water-cooling system driven by the car's climate unit.

Three driving modes - three cars in one

The driver selects the required driving mode via three buttons that give the car three entirely different temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. If the battery pack has been recharged with electricity from renewable sources, its range is up to 50 kilometres and its carbon dioxide emissions are zero. The electric range varies with terrain, climate and driving style.

Hybrid is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor cooperate to ensure optimal balance between driving pleasure and environmental footprint. CO2 emission (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) is 49g/km, corresponding to diesel consumption of 1.9l/100km. The car has a total range of up to 1,000km.

In Power mode the technology is optimised to give the car the maximum possible power. The diesel engine and electric motor have a total power output of 215+70 horsepower and maximum torque of 440+200Nm. The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

Save battery power for later

The driver can choose to save battery power in order to drive on pure electricity later on, for instance in an urban green zone or in the heart of a city.

When Save is activated, the on-board system ensures that there is always sufficient charge for driving later in Pure mode. If necessary, the high-tension generator will charge the battery pack so there is sufficient capacity for driving in Pure mode.

The aim is that the Save mode should ensure there is sufficient battery power for about 20 kilometres of driving on electricity alone.

Charge at home - cooling or heating in advance

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid can be recharged from a regular power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A) at home or in a parking lot. Recharging time varies with amperage. A full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours. This is cut to 3.5 hours with 16A, while a 6A charge takes 7.5 hours.

It is also possible while recharging the car to heat or cool the passenger compartment to provide a more comfortable start of your journey. This also means that more battery power is used for actually propelling the car.

The pre-conditioning function can also cool the batteries. The ideal operating temperature for the battery pack is 20-30°C. This means that cooling prior to driving is very important in order to maximise battery charge and thus also range.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has two heating systems. In electric mode the car uses a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) air heater. The car also has a diesel-powered heater.

Better pulling power with four-wheel drive (AWD)

Pressing the AWD button activates the electrical four-wheel drive. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the diesel-driven front wheels and the electrically-driven rear axle. The electric four-wheel drive system has been designed to provide better grip when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance in snow or mud.

However, owing to the electric motor's lower power, torque to the rear wheels is limited and four-wheel drive is active up to 120 km/h.

When four-wheel drive is activated, the diesel engine operates continuously and the generator ensures that the charge level in the battery pack is sufficient to supply the rear axle with the necessary power.

Since electric four-wheel drive is only activated by the driver when necessary, it is more economical than conventional permanent four-wheel drive.

Two-stage braking system

A two-stage braking system is yet another smart feature of the Volvo Plug-in Hybrid. When the driver presses the brake pedal, the system starts braking the rear axle's electric motor. This braking energy is then used to recharge the car's battery pack.

The mechanical brakes are activated only when the situation requires more braking power than the rear axle can provide.

Immense interest suggests that the first series of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will sell out quickly

Volvo Car Corporation is on the threshold of introducing the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid - a rechargeable diesel hybrid car that is the company's most technically advanced model ever.

Production gets under way in November 2012 and the first model year's volume is limited to 1,000 cars. They will be offered with Pure Limited specifications, including the highest trim level Summum.

The indicative price of the world's first plug-in hybrid with diesel engine is starting at EUR 57,000 depending on market.

"There is immense interest from the markets. We are convinced that the first thousand cars will be sold even before production gets under way next autumn," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. He adds:

"With the V60 Plug-in Hybrid we boost our leading position in electrification. None of our competitors can offer customers an equally ingenious car. It elevates hybrid technology to an entirely new level."

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the synthesis of close cooperation between Volvo Car Corporation and Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall. The development project was financed jointly by the two companies.

"We are proud of launching this unique car together with Volvo. The Plug-in Hybrid confirms that electricity is the fuel for future transports," says Öystein Löseth, CEO of Vattenfall.

Nordic region the biggest market

After the initial batch of 1,000 cars for model year 2013, production of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will increase to 4,000-6,000 cars as of model year 2014.

About 30 per cent of total volume will go to Sweden and the other Nordic countries. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Britain will have a share of between 5 and 15 per cent each.

"We expect the order books to fill very quickly. The most discerning customers have many exclusive cars to choose between. But for anyone who truly wants to be in a league of their own behind the wheel of the most ingenious car in the world, there's only our V60 Plug-in Hybrid," concludes Stefan Jacoby.

Electrifying temporary presence

In addition to other venues, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be launched through "electrifying" temporary presence in high profile venues. They will appear in places such as Stockholm, Berlin and London. The idea is that customers should meet the car where they feel most at home.

Surveys reveal that the main target group for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid includes customers that are eager to adopt unique new technology. The car is ideal for customers who want superior environmental performance without compromising any of the established qualities in a contemporary luxury car.

Volvo Car Corporation expects that 80 per cent of total sales will be in the form of company cars.

Starter pack from Vattenfall included

Vattenfall offers the owners of this new car a starter pack including 100 per cent renewable electricity generated by Vattenfall´s own production facilities and a wall-mounted charging station. The starter pack will be provided in Vattenfall's core markets Sweden, Germany and Netherlands.

"Neither the business world nor society can tackle climate changes single-handedly. It is Volvo Car Corporation's mission to develop cars with minimum carbon dioxide emissions, but it is up to society as a whole to create a sustainable future. This project shows how cooperation between experts in different spheres brings us closer to a changeover from individually carbon dioxide-lean products to a climate-smart lifestyle," says Stefan Jacoby.

Superior technology

From the environmental viewpoint the plug-in hybrid is totally superior to the first generation of hybrid cars, which in principle reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 15 per cent compared with the same model without hybrid power.

In hybrid mode, the large rechargeable battery pack in the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid gives 65 per cent lower carbon dioxide emissions than a conventional V60 with the same diesel engine: 49 g/km. This corresponds to fuel consumption of just 1.9 litres/100 km.

What is more, at the touch of a button the driver can choose to cover up to 50 kilometres on pure electric power - or utilise the combined capacity of the diesel engine and electric motor to create a veritable driving machine that offers 215+70 horsepower and 440+200 Nm of torque.

"It is the on-demand possibility to choose between the car's three different temperaments that makes the V60 Plug-in Hybrid superior to all other hybrids on the market. Thanks to the Pure, Hybrid and Power buttons, this car is the perfect choice for the uncompromising customer who wants minimum carbon dioxide emissions combined with maximum driving pleasure," says Stefan Jacoby.

A study of daily driving shows that most European drivers cover less than 50 kilometres a day, for instance to and from work. On longer trips, the diesel engine gives the car the same range as a conventional hybrid - but with far lower carbon dioxide emissions.

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