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.




 
Show full PR text
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."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can already get 50mpg in a prius for half the cost of this monstrosity. For the price of this I could probably buy a prius and a leaf and achieve an "operational fuel economy" of 75mpg. I bet this thing only gets 20-25mpg when the engine is running.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        You assume that someone buying this is ONLY doing so to save gas. Perhaps they like SUVs and just want a more efficient one.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          SUV's are odd things. My sister, good liberal, radical feminist, went from a Volvo S40 to an Escape, and vows to never get a sedan again. Not like she has a high end model either. I don't quite get it, but people really, really like them. I had an escape hybrid, but enjoyed it due to the hybrid side. Gliding silently in electric modem being evil by sneaking up on people (it was even a black one, so I could sneak). I am sure the Prius or fusion would have accomplished evil as well....
        Actionable Mango
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        For 1/4 the price of your Prius monstrosity you could get a scooter with 100mpg.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Tears in my eyes at shoes.... :D
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          For 1/4 the price of an electric bike, I can get you a nice set of shoes, and you can get around without any gas or electricity. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          For 1/4 of your scooter monstrosity you can get 2 wheel to build you an electric bike that burns no gas. I win dammit. (sitting with my iPad, laughing at 'scooter monstrosity')
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          @PR DAMMIT! :D
      Ele Truk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why would they bring a gas version to the US? Keep it diesel, dammit!
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      PaulWesterberg...I must have missed the price you're referring to. Did you find one somewhere or are you just assuming it will be over the top on cost?
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        I looked it up - the Volvo XC60 starts at about $32K. Impossible to say what the plug in would cost, however, considering that the Volt is as expensive as it is, it would not be out of the realm that this could be $50K or more. A Prius is low $20K, and a Leaf is $35K, so Paul is probably roughly in the ballpark. Atlhough this would be 'educated speculation.'
          Ele Truk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Would you believe $75K? http://gm-volt.com/2011/12/28/volvo-prices-v60-plug-in-hybrid-wagon-and-touts-its-superiority/
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @ele Euro's usually charge a pile of money for...well, anything. I remember the first time I saw the VW eos. Cute little car! And convertible hard top! Then I saw the price....wow. I was trying to under estimate, as well researched people in this room will catch you every time.
          Actionable Mango
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          No, I wouldn't believe $75K. That's European pricing, which is always astonishingly more expensive than the US. Plus your link is referring to a diesel hybrid while this article is about a petrol hybrid. Diesels tend to cost more. Frankly, nobody in the USA would buy a Volvo hybrid for $75K.
          Actionable Mango
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          The price difference between a non-hybrid and a hybrid model is often about 26%. Coincidentally the price difference between the Prius hybrid and the Prius plug-in is about 26%. With these numbers the best I have to go from, I'd guess the Volvo would be $41,454 then (MSRP of XC60 + 26%).
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      What the heck is operational fuel economy? Just getting used to the mpge, and now this? Just give it to us like the Fisker. It goes this far on a charge (which they did), then this far with the batteries drained. That allows for apples to apples comparisons.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        EZEE....Thank you!!! Why do they insist on giving us some new doctored-up number they've made up anyway. I guess they think we're too stupid to just say: it has 40 miles of electric range and after that it gets 30mpg". Those MPGe numbers are a total waste of time anyway! It can be infinitely different for everyone that drives the car. Someone who commutes 100 miles per day will get "33mpg" and someone who commutes 20 miles a day will get "infinite mpg"....at least on the gas. As much as I make fun of the IQ of the avg person, I'm just kidding. Most people have enough common sense to know that 40 miles of electric range means: "I could drive to work and back every day with no gas". It is not that hard.
          markrogo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          I tried to click thumbs up 100x to your post Dave D, but the button only works once. I hope you get my point there. :)
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        We'll have to wait for the EPA sticker, I suppose, but even then it's hard to say even if the EPA numbers are in the ballpark. PHEV ratings are still the Wild West of claims, it seems. For what it's worth, Karma owners are reporting battery-only ranges averaging in excess of 40 miles - as are the reviewers: "In our hands the Karma's best range was 45.4 miles. That was done on our "one lap of Orange County" city loop, which includes numerous signals and absolutely zero freeway. The second best range was 43.3 miles, this time on the freeway at 65 mph during the mid-day traffic lull. Leadfoot John O'Dell (ironically our green car editor) got 34.5 and 39.8 out of it at somewhat more impatient freeway speeds. His house also sits atop a significant hill with no small amount of elevation gain along the way. Bottom line, our average range of 40.8 miles is 27% better than EPA's rating. Our best run was 42% better. And I have reason to believe that the Karma was not 100% charged before I made my two mid-40 runs. Fisker, it seems, has a legitimate beef with the EPA and its range rating of just 32 miles." http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2011/12/2012-fisker-karma-observed-fuel-economy-and-range.html
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Paul Wasn't the 20mpg for totally drained batteries (I guess that is what 'extended range' means...) Okay, how about this - each sticker should show how far it will go on electric, what is the gas mileage in city driving (with regenerative brakes, and totally drained battery gas mileage? Highway mileage, on shorter trips with traffic would be anyone's guess. More braking, up and down ramps (on my old Escape Hybrid, I remember riding the brake down the ramp and watching the charging meter go all the way to one side) will cause numbers to be all over the board. As long as it is a common standard, it does not bother me what it says - people complain about the EPA standard, but I have always gotten as good, or better, so regardless, it does create a usable reference.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          *Denying* the EPA estimate isn't something that Fisker has done. However, other independent tests are indicating that the EPA *estimate* might be a little low on the gasoline RE as well. No real surprise there either, considering how many people are able to beat EPA mpg estimates. Below is a quote from the same article linked above. "As for MPG, we had the Fisker in gasoline mode 58% of the time. During those miles we averaged 23.1 mpg, some 3 mpg and 16% better than the EPA's number. We almost never beat an EPA gasoline rating by that much, so it seems the EPA's gasoline rating for the Karma is questionable, too." Most owners that I've read seem to be mostly using battery-only range a majority of the time. They really don't appear to have any issues with gasoline usage, since they're using dramatically much less than they had in any other vehicle.
          paulwesterberg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Does Fisker also deny the 20mpg rating in extended range mode?
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @LTAW/Dave D LTAW brings up an interesting point, which makes for a need to have some sort of a more standardized approach to the 'economy' of these vehicles. He points out that the Fisker was in gasoline mode 58% of the time. It is good they point that out, but also, essentially pulling that out of their butts (I am sure they had good reason though). Here is my point. Let's say you have the Dan Master 5000 - which weighs 500lbs, shaped like a bullet, and costs $20,000. Then you have the Chevy Volt, then lets say an electrified version of the Expedition - but the Expedition has a mondo battery pack in it, an Atkinson cycle diesel engine (if there is such a thing), and solar panels on the roof. And a propellar. The Dan Master 5000 laughs as it drives by the volt and Expedition, but then, horror! The charge dies. Light weight and aero, but, small battery pack! Then the Volt and Expedition keep on cruising, after picking up an angry Dan Master 5000 driver. What happened? The rules here no longer apply in the same fashion. Depending on the battery pack, a Fisker may go as far as, or further than, a Chevy Volt (or fictional Dan Master 5000). We also had Chevy's original 230 mpg claim for the volt. Well sure - and some people are averaging 1000 mpg, while others average 100 mpg. For me, I just want to know - how far does it go on a charge, and if hybrid, then what happens after the batteries are dead. Everything else (see Volt) will be a wild a**'d guess.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is very expensive, ($78k on road) , oddball automobile from Chinese-owned Geely Motor's Swedish subsidiary, Volvo. Odd, because it attempts to entice buyers with far from cutting edge, PIEV/Hybrid technology in a rather lacklustre, 2WD, SUV, and then claims to be 'superior to all other hybrids'!
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        The price for the diesel version is £45,000, but that includes 20%VAT: http://gm-volt.com/2011/12/28/volvo-prices-v60-plug-in-hybrid-wagon-and-touts-its-superiority/ That works out to around $56,254 ex VAT, but diesel versions are usually a bit more expensive than petrol so you might be talking about $55,000 or so in the US with $7,500 subsidy available. Hardly cheap, but hardly $78,000 either.
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        How do you know the price? It sounds like the European-only V60 plug-in hybrid, except the 215 horsepower 2.4-liter D5 turbodiesel engine is replaced by a 280 hp (!!!) gas I4. So it's probably AWD, not 2WD. There are only two PHVs for sale, neither is a through-the-road hybrid, and already you're calling this concept lackluster? Harsh! The big Volvos are all nice places to be, though not particularly distinctive.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @skierpage
          @Skierpage, I'm only guessing at the price, basing my guess on [/2011/12/28/Volvo-prices-v60-plug-in-hybrid-waggon-and-touts-its-superiority] On principle, I am not a fan of 'soft road' SUV's! Lacklustre, because I can see nothing in this SUV, that, more appropriate vehicles, don't do better! However, that's just a personal opinion.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        'The electric four-wheel drive in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is activated by pressing the AWD (All Wheel Drive) button. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the gasoline-driven front wheels and the electrically driven rear axle. ' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/xc60-20120104.html And: 'The concept car carries a “T8” badge, which designates a combined 350 hp (261 kW) of the four-cylinder engine and the electric motor—i.e., territory previously occupied solely by eight-cylinder engines. ' And: ' In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The operational range is up to 35 miles (charge depleting range, US certification driving cycle) with zero tailpipe emissions in urban traffic. The range according to the European certification driving cycle NEDC is 45 km. Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. On the NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53 g/km (2.3 L/100 km, 102 mpg US). Using the US certification standards, which include emissions from the production of the electric energy, the combined fuel economy in continuous driving is 50 mpg US (4.7 L/100km). The car has a total operating range of up to 600 miles (960 km). In Power mode, the technology is optimized to create maximum possible power. The electric motor’s instant torque delivery contributes to the car’s acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds).' Sounds pretty advanced to me.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      I doubt they could make a case for a $78,000 plug-in SUV, considering there's a $40,000 Chevy Volt around. It will be priced above the Volt, but I doubt it will be 2x more. Also, Volvo is now owned by a Chinese firm, so perhaps they're manufacturing more components in China now? Not a big fan of SUVs, or so-called "performance SUVs", but 35 miles on electricity alone is another step forward.
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