Probably the new 2012 Volvo V60 Diesel Plug-in Hybrid is the most technically advanced Volvo model ever! And not only comparing to Volvo, but also it is extremely more advanced compared to other hybrids on the market! If you ask why, well the reasons for this are numerous. Firstly, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid. It is a technical achievement because it is an electric car, hybrid car and muscle-car all rolled into one. And here's the catch: 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! Isn't that almost magical!

The manufacturers have decided that this car will be offered just production in just one colour, which is Electric Silver. If you plan to order this unique Hybrid, you can do it in the start of 2012, and the first cars will be built in the autumn of that year. The hybrid was firstly unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011, and since then received a lot of attention, due to its spectacular silver colour, exclusive interior and generous standard equipment!

2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

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For example the first 1,000 units of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid are only available in Electric Silver. The vehicle 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. Moeover, 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.

To go further into details, the interior of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is exclusively designed! It features black leather upholstery with contrasting stitching and inlays of blue-grey wood. In addition to make it more distinctive, the interior includes details of a leather-covered steering wheel, specially designed mats and a gear lever knob with integrated indicator. Furthermore in the list of standard equipment have been included features such as speed-dependent power steering, electrically adjustable driver's seat, parking sensors front and rear, Bluetooth phone link and Volvo on Call. As standard equipment you will also get the High Performance Multimedia DVD audio system with its 4x40 W amplifier, eight loudspeakers and seven-inch screen! And all this in order to have the best drive!

Next to be mentioned is that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first model to be launched with an entirely digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM). Here the conventional analogue gauges have been replaced by a one-piece LED screen with large number of display options. Therefore the driver can choose which information to show via the car's menu setup. Further innovation is that the driver can communicate with the car via a mobile app, thus giving 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.

Moreover this Volvo is also the first to be "wearing" the D6 badge on its tailgate. 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. In addition the front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbodiesel producing 158 kW (215 hp) and maximum torque is 440 Nm (325 lb-ft). Another detail is that the car has a six-speed automatic transmission. Next o be highlighted about the hybrid is the rear axle, which is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. Additionally the electric motor is supplied with power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment. To be more precise the sophisticated and exceptionally compact battery pack consists of 10 modules each containing 20 cells. Moreover, 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.

What is very special about the new V60 Plug-in Hybrid is that it offers three driving modes, which makes possible the car to "include" three other cars in itself. This happens when the driver selects the required driving mode via three buttons that give the car three entirely different temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power. Through the first mode, the Vehicle is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. Note that if the battery pack has been recharged with electricity from renewable sources, its range is up to 50 kilometers! You'll also go "eco" all the way because of the carbon dioxide emissions which are zero. The electric range varies with terrain, climate and driving style. In the next "Hybrid" mode, which is also the standard setting whenever the car is started, the diesel engine works along with the electric motor and thus way ensuring optimal balance between driving pleasure and environmental footprint. Here CO2 emission (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) is 49g/km, corresponding to diesel consumption of 1.9l/100km. This time the car has a total range of up to 1,000km. The last mode named "Power" is the technological optimization utilized by the manufacturers. The aim was to provide the car with the maximum possible power. Here 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.

Additional option in the Hybrid concerns the battery, in which the driver can choose to save its power in order to drive on pure electricity later on. For example this is a good idea when one is 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. And of course if it is necessary, the high-tension generator will charge the battery pack so there is sufficient capacity for driving in "Pure" mode. The goal is ensure there is sufficient battery power for about 20 kilometers of driving on electricity alone.

Great news about the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is that it can be recharged from a regular power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A). This can happen at home or in a parking lot, where the recharging time varies with the amperage. For example a full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours, or 3.5 hours with 16A, while a 6A charge takes 7.5 hours.

Additionally of you want to feel more comfortable, there is an option which is heating or cooling the passenger compartment while recharging the car. This also means that more battery power is used for actually propelling the car. The pre-conditioning function can also cool the batteries. The perfect temperature for the battery pack is 20-30°C. This means that cooling prior to driving is very important in order to maximize battery charge and thus also range. The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has two heating systems: in electric mode the car uses a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) air heater, and on the other hand it also has a diesel-powered heater.

The vehicle has a special AWD button, which 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 aim is to be provided a better grip when starting and when driving on slippery roads. Nevertheless, 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. The electric four-wheel drive is more economically efficient because it is an option which is being activated by the driver when necessary.

At last in the vehicle is included a two-stage braking system. This is another smart feature of the Volvo Plug-in Hybrid. The reason for this is because when the driver presses the brake pedal, the system starts breaking the rear axle's electric motor. This braking energy is then used to recharge the car's battery pack. Hence the mechanical brakes are activated only when the situation requires more braking power than the rear axle can provide.

Source: Volvo