At next week's Beijing Motor Show, Volvo is set to introduce a new member of its plug-in hybrid family. The company has had success with the world's first diesel PHEV, the V60 plug-in hybrid, but the new S60L is dubbed a PPHEV. The extra P stands for petrol.
Unsurprisingly given the debut location, the S60L PPHEV is a vehicle that is destined for the Chinese market. Volvo says the car should arrive in "early 2015" after production starts at the company's Chengdu plant. There is a chance that China-built Volvos will make their way to the US at some point, but whether that invasion fleet includes the S60L PPHEV is difficult to predict at this point.
"This is our most technologically advanced powertrain ever" – Peter Mertens
Similar to the V60 PHEV, the plug-in S60L mates up a four-cylinder, 238-horsepower Drive-E turbo engine with a 68 hp electric motor fed by an 11.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to be, "an electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car all rolled into one," Volvo claims. The two power sources provide 350 and 200 newton meters of torque (258 and 148 pound-feet), respectively. The torque is routed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the whole package uses just two liters of fuel per kilometer (the equivalent of 117 miles per gallon) in default hybrid mode. All-electric range is a solid 30 miles. In a prepared statement (available below), Volvo's senior VP of research and development, Peter Mertens, called the setup, "our most technologically advanced powertrain ever." If it's that good, Volvo, go ahead and sell the car worldwide.