Volvo announced today that its V60 Plug-In Hybrid will be available in 2012. Unfortunately, it won’t be coming to America.
The V60 is Volvo’s wagonized version of the S60, a premium midsize sport-sedan that, in America, features a choice of three turbocharged engines with a healthy dose of performance, good fuel efficiency, and a sleek fastback design.
Volvo unveiled the V60 Plug-In Hybrid in early 2011 when it was near-production ready. The European-spec hybrid has a 30-mile electric-only range, and with its small, diesel engine, can travel 745 miles on one tank without sacrificing Volvo’s signature drivability.
“One important aspect of the project was to retain the Volvo V60′s excellent driving pleasure, high safety standard and luxurious comfort. At the same time, average CO2 emissions and fuel consumption will be halved compared with what is available on the market today,” says Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volvo. “We’re taking a step forward towards our ‘DRIVe Towards Zero’ vision, that is to say the hunt for zero emissions. In fact, when the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is run solely on electricity and recharged using renewable energy, we’ve already reached that goal.”
Volvo has yet to release production numbers, availability, and pricing, but it is possible that the V60′s plug-in hybrid technology could arrive in a different Volvo model in America as early as 2013. If it does, it could also arrive with a new electric-motor sound. In addition to actually building the plug-in hybrid, Volvo is also working in an acoustic lab to develop a new electric-car sound.
“The combustion engine sound is instinctively connected to our perception of driving a car. It works as an acoustic mat that blankets other sounds. When that mat is lifted off, you suddenly become aware of a number of other sounds,” says Martin Spang at Volvo sound laboratory.