Official: 2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

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Volvo claims the V60 is an electric car, hybrid car, and muscle-car, all rolled into one.

Sales of the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid will get under way at the start of next year, priced somewhere between £45,000 and £50,000 in the UK (minus the £5000 plug-in car grant). In the US, the plug-in hybrid will be launched but only as a gas-electric vehicle. The production version of the V60, which Volvo claim to be their most technically advanced model ever, will be launched in Electric Silver only with aero-designed 17-inch alloys, integrated exhaust tailpipes, and glossy black grille and aerodynamic front spoiler.

"Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at Geneva 2011. Now we're taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver color, an exclusive interior, and generous standard equipment," says Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby. Black leather upholstery with contrasting stitching features on the interior as do inlays of blue-grey wood and a leather-covered steering wheel. A one-piece LED screen offers a number of display options, while its possible to communicate with the car's a/c and other functions via a smartphone app.

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The Volvo V60 Plug-in, badged the D6, is powered by a 5-cylinder, 2.4-liter turbo that produces 212hp and 324lb-ft of torque, and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 69hp, 147lb-ft electric motor powers the rear axle, which itself is powered by an 11.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the boot's floor. In Pure driving mode, the car has an electric-only range of 32 miles and a 'save' mode option can also be selected to save electric power for later on in a journey. Hybrid is the default-operating mode providing the optimal balance of its performance and environmental capabilities.

This translates as Co2 emissions of 49g/km and a maximum range of 621 miles. Power is the third and final mode drivers can select at the touch of a button, used to attain maximum possible power of 281hp and 471lb-ft of torque, and a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.2 seconds. Depending on amperage, a full charge of the batteries takes between 3.5 and 7.5 hours. Whilst recharging, the cabin can also be pre-heated or cooled so that when on the move the battery can focus purely on propelling the car. To maximize battery charge and range a pre-conditioning function can also cool the batteries to their optimum working temperature.

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