Another plug-in hybrid joins the fray, this time from Volvo

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Cometh

Volvo is the latest to dash in the pool of plug-in hybrid, toping this week’s list long on new entrant into this market segment. But what does it have to offer others don’t?

You’d be hard pressed differentiating the V60 Plug-In Hybrid, PHEV from any other V60, short of some very tiny aerodynamic hints here and there, including better wind dynamic 17” wheels. Sustainable luxury is a pie in the sky many carmakers are hunting after. How can a car manufactured using traditional methods be sustainable even if its drivetrain cuts down on emission, is something many try to answer. But the psychological call from drivers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint is more important than political rhetoric. Drivers want to pollute less and Volvo wants to help with that.

Technically Speaking. Using again 2.4L diesel engine coupled to an electric motor fed by a lithium iron battery pack housed beneath the ample back compartment, the V60 PHEV puts out a combined power output of 276 hp. Although those performances alone are impressive enough, the V60 also shines with efficiency rated at 148mpg, with emissions as low as 49g/km of CO2. How come Europeans are the only ones working on what seems to be the logical choice of using a diesel engine mated to a hybrid platform?

Driving Pleasure & Freedom. The V60 also gives you what more and more carmakers are offering, driving modes, of which three are available on this particular PHEV. In its Pure mode, the car lets you run on electricity alone. The V60 PHEV should give you a little over 30 miles in this mode, enough for most daily routines. In its Hybrid mode, the diesel engine kicks in and performance goes up. In its Power mode, the V60 PHEV combines its diesel engine and electric motor to produce enough horsepower to sprint a 0 to 62 mph time of 6.9 seconds. Not bad for a station wagon.

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Volvo & Safety. Volvo and safety usually go hand in hand and the reputation the Swedish automaker has formed is legendary. The protection not only covers its passengers but also pedestrians outside. Volvo uses what it already offers in its V40 lineup, what it terms as “advanced people-watching technology”. When the car senses pedestrian impact, it blows up an airbag around the windscreen area protecting and cushioning their impact.

All of this sounds great, so when can we get it? Sorry folks, this car seems to be destined for the European market only. Remember, we don’t like diesel too much here. Maybe if you hound Volvo enough they would consider bringing it over here, who knows. In the meantime, Volvo does promise one thing that should affect us, by 2015 to 2017, the entire car line should offer some sort of hybrid solution and we can only hope the V60 plug-in hybrid will be available in the US.