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Volvo boosting mpg and power with limited run of V60 diesel plug-in hybrids

Volvo’s upcoming V60, the world’s first production diesel plug-in hybrid, is truly an awesome piece of machinery. This is a car which managed to impress with both its fuel economy numbers and performance numbers, and doesn’t look half bad to boot. The car first debuted back in March of last year, and the V60 plug-in has finally begun production. But if you want one for yourself, you’re out of luck. AutoGuide reports that Volvo will build just 1,000 units of the car for the 2013 model year, and those 1,000 units have been sold out for some time. What’s worse, this number will only go up to between 4,000 and 6,000 for 2014. Considering the fact that Chevy is expecting to sell 25,000 units of the Volt just this year, those seem like quite small numbers.

Of course, the V60 will cost quite a bit more than the Volt, about €57,000 ($75,000), and this accounts for much of the discrepancy. But the rest, we assume, is just Volvo playing it safe (and they do know safe) with a vehicle type that is still seeing some ups and downs. It’s unclear what the fate of the V60 plug-in will be in the US, although unfortunately we have our rservations. Diesels haven’t tended to sell all that well in the US and neither have wagons in the recent past, although if we can think of one brand that could pull it off, it would be Volvo.

The V60 plug-in uses a five-cylinder turbo diesel engine which produces 215 horsepower and 324lb-ft of torque, which is mated to an electric motor. In pure electric mode, the car can travel 32 miles on a single charge, and Volvo says that if you start out with a full battery and topped-up tank, you can go 625 miles. That’s not bad, but even better is the fact that you will average 124mpg on that very long trip. Now building a frugal car is all well and good, but what makes the V60 plug-in stand out is that it can also be quick. Select “Power” mode, and the diesel engine and electric motor work together to make 285 horsepower and 472lb-ft of torque, enough to send the V60 to 60mph in just 6.2 seconds. That’s quick for a station wagon of any kind. We’re certainly looking forward to Volvo cranking up production on these cars, even for that price.

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