For its first production plug-in hybrid, Volvo chose a diesel station wagon. The V60 plug-in hybrid remains an unusual vehicle in one of the automotive industry’s newest niches.
The Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-In Hybrid set to debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show follows a more conventional route. Like the name says, this plug-in has a gasoline engine under the hood.
The engine is teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor good for additional 68 hp, and an 11.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
While the gasoline engine drives the front wheels as it does in a normal S60, the electric motor drives the rear wheels, giving the car all-wheel drive. There are also three driving modes that adjust the distribution of power depending on how the car is being used.
In the default “Hybrid” mode, the S60L plug-in uses both its gasoline and electric power sources for fuel-efficient cruising, while “Pure” mode switches the car to all-electric power. Volvo estimates the electric-only range at around 31 miles.
Finally, there’s a “Power” mode for your inner Jeremy Clarkson. With this performance-oriented setting, Volvo says the S60L plug-in will do 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.
However, Chinese customers will most likely be the only ones who will get to experience this range of performance.
The Volvo S60L plug-in hybrid will be launched in China next year, and will be built locally at a plant in Chengdu. Plans for sales in other markets have not been announced.
However, Volvo still might put plug-in powertrains in other future models, including the next XC90 SUV.