Skip to main content

NY Auto Show preview: Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid scheduled for American debut

Volvo V60 plug-in hybridEurope has already gotten a taste of the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and soon, America likely will too.

Volvo will show its greenest car at the 2013 New York Auto Show on March 28.

The V60 PHEV is a unique car, and not just because it’s Volvo’s first hybrid. This station wagon is also the world’s first production diesel-electric hybrid, according to the Swedish manufacturer.

A 2.4-liter turbodiesel inline-five sends 215 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, while an electric motor sends 70 hp to the rear wheels for all-wheel drive grip.

Powering the electric motor is an 11.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which Volvo says is good for 31 miles of all-electric driving in the “Pure” EV mode. That’s more than a Toyota Prius Plug-In (11 miles) or Ford’s Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi (21 miles). The Chevrolet Volt ekes out a slight advantage, with a 35-mile range.

When the V60 is operating as a hybrid, Volvo says it will return 130 mpg on the European cycle. We’ll have to wait for a V60 to be tested using the EPA’s procedure before making a comparison, but this plug-in should be pretty darn efficient.

Like Ford and Toyota, Volvo decided to convert an existing model into a plug-in instead of starting from scratch. The V60 is a wagon version of the S60 sedan. It’s predecessor, the V70, has sold here but the current model isn’t due to America’s wagon aversion.

Volvo hasn’t confirmed that the V60 PHEV will be sold in the United States, although the company is planning to announce “a new and exciting addition to the North American Volvo lineup” in New York.

Even if it is sold here, it won’t be easy to get. Introduced in 2012, only 1,000 units were produced initially. Volvo plans to build just 6,000 V60 PHEVs for the 2014 model year.

A plug-in Volvo probably won’t be cheap, either. European customers paid between $75,000 and $80,000 for their V60s.

We’ll have all the details about this unique Volvo next week when it plugs in at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more