Volvo's new V60 plug-in diesel hybrid goes on sale late in 2012, priced from around £45k. It's said to hit just 49g/km of CO2

Volvo V60: it's a hybrid and it's good

Tuesday, 13 December 2011 11:30 AM

2012 Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid

The new Volvo V60 plug-in diesel hybrid, arriving late 2012, is said to hit 49g/km CO2 in hybrid mode

Early 2012 – which is not that far away – will see the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid go into production, albeit with a limited initial run of 1,000 cars. It is a diesel-hybrid, one of the first in the world to go into production. For the UK market, it will be priced between £45,000-£50,000, although that doesn't include the government's Plug-In Car grant which would certainly reduce the cost. We can expect them to go on sale around November next year and Volvo is promising an eco-friendly car with plenty of luxuries.

The Pure Limited Specification will be the trim level in the V60 Plug-In Hybrid. This includes black leather upholstery, blue-grey wood inlays, leather steering wheel and a gear knob with integrated indicator. Standard features include speed-dependent power steering, electrically adjustable driver's seat, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, DVD/audio/multimedia system with eight speakers and a seven-inch screen.

As a bonus, the exterior design lines are clean and lean with plenty of sharp angles. The boxiness of the 80s is a thing of the past for the Swedish automaker. It will, however, come in just one exterior colour, Electric Silver. It will also feature 17-inch wheels, integrated tailpipes, glossy black trim on the grille and front spoiler.

But what about the tech specs? The V60 is powered by a five-cylinder, 2.4-litre 215bhp turbo diesel with 324 lb-ft of torque. This is combined with a 70-bhp electric motor which powers the rear axle. The compact lithium-ion battery pack consists of 10 modules containing 20 cells. An integrated computer monitors it all and compares temperature and charge level in the 200 cells. The battery pack also has an integrated water-cooling system driven by the car's climate control. There's a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

The three driving modes are Pure, for zero-emissions electric driving with a range up to 32 miles, Hybrid which offers emissions of just 49g/km and a total range of up to 621 miles, and Power mode where the two engines combine to add an extra 70 horses to the output.

After the initial 1,000-car run for the 2013 model year, the 2014 production run is expected to be ramped up to 4,000-6,000 cars. Around 30% of sales are expected in Sweden and other Nordic nations while the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium are expected to have a share between 5 and 15%. Volvo is also anticipating big demand for the V60 Plug-In Hybrid as a company car.

By Georgia Lewis

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