The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is three cars in one

Published on February 22nd, 2011

Volvo Cars Malaysia (VCM), have an interesting question and a very real prospect to consider for those out there who must have power when helming the wheel of a car, yet are conscious about being environment-friendly and doing their bit for the environment. How about integrating the very best properties from three different car types into one, single attractive sports wagon?

By simply pressing a button, you can choose which car you want to drive:

· An electric car with a range of up to 50 kilometers.

· A high-efficiency hybrid with carbon dioxide emissions averaging just a mere 49 g/km.

· A muscular, fun-to-drive car with a combined output of 215 + 70 horsepower, 440 + 200 Nm of torque and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h of just 6.9 seconds.

Allow Volvo Cars Malaysia (VCM) to present the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is rumored will reach Volvo showrooms somewhere in 2012.

“The second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a superbly carbon dioxide-lean car which is environment-friendly yet also packed with power that brings about driving pleasure,” said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.

He adds: “The technology is still undergoing development and testing. However, the car already points very clearly to what our customers can expect when the plug-in hybrid enters showrooms next year.”

The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbodiesel, which produces a respectable 215 horsepower and maximum torque of a whopping 440 Nm.

The rear axle features ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, which receives its power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Where gearing is concerned, the car features a six-speed automatic transmission.

The driver of this performance Hybrid V-series car chooses the preferred driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel: Pure, Hybrid, and the hard to ignore and resist, Power. The interaction between diesel and electric power is handled via an intelligently devised, tried and tested, control system.

“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 that allows the driver to choose: zero emissions, high-efficiency hybrid or full-on, electrifying performance. Just select the mode that suits best,” says Stefan Jacoby.

Three different temperaments

The Pure, Hybrid and Power driving modes give the V60 Plug-in Hybrid three different temperaments:

· In Pure mode, the car runs only on its electric motor as much as possible. If the battery has been recharged using electricity from a renewable source, the driving range is up to 50 km with zero emissions of carbon dioxide. Battery range varies with terrain, climate and driving style.

· The Hybrid mode is the default mode whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor interact to provide the optimal balance between driving pleasure and low environmental impact. Emissions of CO2 (EU Combined) are 49 g/km, corresponding to diesel fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km. The car’s total range is up to an impressive 1200 km.

· In Power mode, the state-of-the-art Volvo developed technology is optimized to give the car the best possible performance. The diesel engine and electric motor have a combined power output 215 + 70 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 + 200 Nm. The electric motor’s lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car’s 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of a respectable 6.9 seconds.

The majority of all European car drivers cover less than 50 km a day, for instance to and from work. On longer trips, the diesel engine is activated automatically, giving the car the same properties and range as a conventional hybrid.

Several additional possibilities and benefits

In addition to its three driving modes, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid features a number of other possibilities and benefits:

· The driver can choose to save battery capacity in order to be sure of driving on clean electricity later, for instance after entering the city. In order to maintain a sufficient battery charge level, the car is powered by its diesel engine.

· Pushing the AWD button in the centre stack activates electric four-wheel drive. Instead of the mechanical power transmission of the conventional AWD system, the central control unit manages torque distribution to the diesel-driven front wheels and the electrically powered rear axle.

· Via the car setup menu, the driver can key in the planned route’s distance (short, medium or long). The control system calculates the balance between diesel and electric power to obtain the lowest possible CO2 emissions for the given distance.

Recharging at home

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is recharged via a regular power socket (230V/6A, 10A or 16A) at home or in a parking lot. The charging time depends on the level of the current. A full 10A charge takes 4.5 hours. The time is shortened to 3 hours with 16A, while a charge in a 6A socket takes a rather lengthy 7.5 hours.

To get a comfortable start of the journey, the car driver has the possibility to preheat or cool the passenger compartment during the recharging process. This also means that more battery capacity can be used for powering the car.

The pre-conditioning is programmed via a timer integrated into the car’s setup menu or remotely via a mobile phone.

Special white paintwork

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid features a special white paint supplied by famed and renowned paint brand Dupont – and the interior also has several unique details and colours compared with a standard V60, such as leather upholstery from Elmo.

On the outside, the car has several additional features that emphasize its CO2-lean profile, such as lightweight wheels with exceptionally low air drag and Italian-made Pirelli tyres designed for low rolling resistance.

The instrument panel in the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has been modified to give the driver a full range of important information about diesel and electricity consumption, battery charge level, remaining range and so on, so forth.

It will also be possible to communicate with the car via a mobile application. This gives the owner access to a number of smart features, such as a reminder to plug in the charging cable if this has not been done at a certain, pre-set time.

New, groundbreaking green-tech

“Volvo Cars has introduced groundbreaking green-tech before. For instance, we invented the catalytic converter with Lambda probe, a system that is now fitted to all cars. With our latest development, we are, not surprisingly, once again demonstrating our leadership in the environmental field by being the first to market hybrid technology in an entirely new dimension,” says Stefan Jacoby, and he goes on to add:

“Having Vattenfall in the electricity generating industry as a partner gives us an added strength. It allows us to be on the inside and shape developments in this area, for instance, when it comes to clean electricity and infrastructure. We will also offer our customers a climate-neutral electricity supply contract when our plug-in hybrid enters series production.”

words: Azdee Amir  pix: Volvo

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