Volvo has revealed a sub-50g/km diesel-electric plug-in hybrid version of its V60 estate at the Geneva motor show.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will have combined economy of 150mpg, thanks to a 212bhp, 325lb ft 2.4-litre D5 turbodiesel engine, which powers the front wheels, while the rear axle is powered by Volvo’s ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) system. This incorporates a 69bhp electric motor that is powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A six-speed automatic transmission also features.
Three driving modes are offered by the V60 plug-in: Pure, Hybrid and Power. In Pure mode the car operates on electricity-only for up to 32 miles; Hybrid is the default mode that balances economy and performance; Power mode is used to give the car its best possible performance. A full recharge takes 7.5 hours from a 230V/6A power socket.
The driver will have the ability to preheat or cool the cabin during the recharging process, a system that can be operated by the in-car menu or a smartphone app. Other plug-in hybrid features include a revised instrument panel, lightweight alloy wheels and low resistance Pirelli tyres.
Volvo has produced the car in partnership with Swedish energy company Vattenfall. It will reach market in 2012, although Volvo has yet to hint at pricing, saying only that it “will be more expensive to buy than a Volvo V60 with a conventional combustion engine”.
Volvo boss Stefan Jacoby said: “This second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a superbly carbon dioxide-lean car packed with driving pleasure.
"In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure.
“The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has all the traditional properties of a genuine sports wagon. What we've done is to spice it up with spearhead technology.”