volvo xc60 plug-in hybrid concept
Anyone in the U.S. who's been looking longingly at the Volvo's diesel-electric V60 plug-in hybrid – which is only scheduled to go on sale in Europe, starting sometime later this year – take hope: the Swedish automaker has taken the digital wraps off of the new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, and is dropping all sorts of hints that it's coming to America. It burns gas instead of diesel fuel, true, but Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO at Volvo Car Corporation, said in a statement that this is just what's required to compete here:

The gasoline plug-in hybrid is ideal for the American motorist who wants an electric car while at the same time retaining all the power and capacity that comes in his or her present vehicle. ... The gasoline version has great potential in several markets that are vital for our ambitious growth plans, such as the United States, China and Russia.

Patty Hooley of the Dealer Council of Volvo Cars North America said in a statement that, "From a U.S. market perspective, a gasoline plug-in hybrid would be an excellent addition to our product offer." So, we don't know when, but it sure sounds like Volvo is planning on bringing this plug-in hybrid to our shores some time soon.

What would we get should the car arrive? The XC60 PHEV concept uses a 280-horsepower, four-cylinder gas engine – part of the new Volvo Environmental Architecture family of engines – and a battery of unspecified size that offers a EV-range of 35 miles. That battery recharges in about 7.5 hours from a standard U.S. outlet, and those numbers suggest it's similar to the pack that powers the Chevrolet Volt. With a 70-hp electric motor, the XC60 gives a total of 350 horses, or around the power of a V8, which should also appeal to U.S. drivers. Another good number? An "operational fuel economy" of 50 miles per gallon. Add that all up, and Volvo says the combination of powertrains in the XC60 is "superior to all existing hybrids." We'll see how that confidence translates to the real world when we see the vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show next week.




 
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Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - superior to all existing hybrids

Volvo Car Corporation's technology in the advanced Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept gives the car owner possibilities that no other existing hybrid car can offer.

"The gasoline plug-in hybrid is ideal for the American motorist who wants an electric car while at the same time retaining all the power and capacity that comes in his or her present vehicle," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO at Volvo Car Corporation.

A diesel-electric V60 Plug-in Hybrid is Volvo Car Corporation's first production model with this new technology, and the car will go on sale in Europe later this year. In order to make the solution viable for U.S. and Chinese buyers, it needs to feature a gasoline engine. In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, the electrification technology is blended with a state-of-the-art 280-horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine.

"The combination brings the ingenious plug-in hybrid solution into the global context we are aiming for with all our car models. The gasoline version has great potential in several markets that are vital for our ambitious growth plans, such as the United States, China and Russia," Stefan Jacoby says.

Volvo Car Corporation's North American dealers welcome the introduction of a plug-in hybrid.

"From a U.S. market perspective, a gasoline plug-in hybrid would be an excellent addition to our product offer," says Patty Hooley, member of the Dealer Council of Volvo Cars North America.

Daily commute on electricity

An electric motor producing 70 horsepower - combined with a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine - gives the driver a muscular power plant packing a total of 350 horsepower. Yet this very same car can be driven up to 35 miles (charge depleting range, U.S. certification driving cycle) on electricity alone or as a high-efficiency hybrid with operational fuel economy 50 mpg. The U.S. certification standards include emissions from the production of the electric energy. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53 g/km (2.3l/100 km) - which translates into fuel economy of over 100 mpg.

"A plug-in hybrid is the ideal eco-car for today's conditions," Stefan Jacoby says. "It gives a large proportion of motorists sufficient range on electricity for their daily commute. More than half of U.S. drivers cover less than 30 miles a day. With its three driving modes, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept also offers the owner a conventional model's interior space, safety, performance and long range. It gives the driver uncompromising flexibility to cover every type of motoring need."

Bridge to the future

In recent time, hybrids and all-electric cars have been establishing a presence in the minds of North American customers.

"Our goal is to be a leading brand within fuel efficiency," Stefan Jacoby says. "In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid we emphasize how a blend of state-of-the-art combustion technology and innovative electrification can be an unbeatably attractive bridge to a future where the all-electric cars become more established in the market."