Concepts

Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept to Make Debut in Detroit

Volvo’s latest concept will be unveiled in Detroit next week, but won’t hit US showrooms for a couple of years.

Last month we revealed official specs of the diesel-electric V60 plug-in hybrid that Volvo plans to release for the European market, and now we gt to preview the gasoline-electric version that's coming to the US. The XC60 concept will be unveiled at Detroit next week, and just like the V60 it's an all-in-one electric, hybrid, and performance car that utilizes its combustion engine and electric motor in unison or individually depending on the driver's needs.

At the touch of a button, the car can switch from Pure to Hybrid to Power mode, however where the V60 is diesel, the XC60 concept is gasoline. In Pure mode the car has a 35-mile range powered purely by its electric motor, which is rated at 69hp and 149lb-ft of torque and drives the rear axle. It's powered by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery sitting under the floor of the loading compartment, which takes 7.5 hours to charge via regular household power outlet and 3 hours via a 220V supply, and can also be topped up using brake energy regeneration technology.

In Hybrid mode, the concept's standard setting, the new-generation 2.0-liter turbo four engine, rated at 276hp and 280lb-ft, and the electric motor combine to boost range, working in sync or alternating as required. As per standard parallel hybrids, the electric motor kicks in for stop-and-go traffic, while the gas engine takes charge during heavy acceleration and high speed driving. The combined fuel economy in continuous driving is 50mpg and the concept has a total range of up to 600 miles. Finally in power mode the two power sources are optimized to deliver a maximum output of 345hp and maximum torque of 429lb-ft.

The vehicle can then accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds while benefiting from an all-wheel drive set up. Both powerplants can engage in electronically-controlled four-wheel drive using the AWD button with power sent to the wheels via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission. This is really more of an occasional feature for slippery conditions as opposed to a permanent 4WD system as power to the rear wheels is dependent on battery power. North America and China won't see the XC60 until 2014 at the earliest according to Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby:

"This world-class gasoline plug-in hybrid technology, featuring a state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine from our upcoming Volvo Environmental Architecture engine family, will reach our American showrooms in a couple of years. However, it is too early to say which model will be the first to feature this solution."

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