Diesels and hybrids are currently fighting it out on sales floors across the world, with diesels taking claiming early victory in Europe, while hybrids hold their own in America. Volvo plans to combine the two fuel-saving technologies by 2012 in both the U.S. and across the pond. According to early reports, the system used by the Swedish automaker will be an advanced full-hybrid, with either the electric motors or an oil-burning engine capable of moving the vehicle independently. All-wheel drive will also be part of the package, as the front wheels would be powered by the diesel engine while the rears would be electrically motivated. Shortly thereafter, the automaker would release a plug-in version of its hybrid.
Before any of this takes place, Volvo will take a few hybrid baby-steps in the form of stop/start technology on its smaller models before spreading across the line. In contrast, the diesel hybrids will begin at the top, equipped in larger sedans and SUVs. Considering that Volvo's been able to get up to 76 mpg from its non-hybrid diesel DRIVe models, we will have high expectations for its diesel hybrids.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]