Volvo's $80,000 Plug-in Hybrid Sells Out in Europe
While the Swedish wagon arrives this fall in limited numbers, Volvo won't rule out a sedan version for the U.S.
Volvo's all-wheel-drive diesel plug-in hybrid station wagon is sold out for 2013, the company said on Thursday.
We laced that first sentence with adjectives for a reason. Right now, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the only production vehicle of its kind. No other plug-in hybrid comes with all-wheel-drive or a diesel engine, or as a wagon.
Here's another superlative: In Europe, this Volvo stickers at the equivalent of $80,000, making it the second-most expensive plug-in hybrid after the Fisker Karma. You read that right: 80 thousand dollars. That's about a third more than what Tesla wants for its all-electric Model S sedan, and for that price, we'd need to add a couple more adjectives -- bargain lease deals, fat incentives -- to swallow buying a trick Volvo.
However, "sold out" is a bit of an overstatement. Volvo is selling only 1,000 units when it begins production later this fall, and will ramp up to just 5,000 units by 2014 -- less than half the sales of the Chevrolet Volt this year alone. While Volvo said the V60 would not be sold in the U.S. "since it has a diesel engine," it didn't rule out the possibility of a gas-powered S60 plug-in hybrid. But with such limited production, we likely won't see one until at least 2015.
The performance looks impressive. A 2.4-liter 5-cylinder diesel engine with 215 horsepower drives the front axle, while a 70-horsepower electric motor takes the rear. An 11.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery sits underneath the cargo hold. With it, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid claims up to 100 mpg and 35 miles of electric range. When the battery dies, the driver can hit a switch to gain 12 extra electric miles, recharged by the engine without having to plug back in.
A full LCD instrument cluster, leather and what Volvo calls "blue-gray wood" adorn the interior. A smartphone application for setting the car's charging schedule is also included. Volvo says the V60 takes 3.5 hours on a 16-amp circuit.
Similar to the Volt, the Volvo's driving modes range from sporty (both engine and motor) to full-electric. Mitsubishi is planning a similar powertrain for the 2014 Outlander Plug-in, an all-wheel-drive SUV due sometime next year.
"While Volvo said the V60 would not be sold in the U.S. "since it has a diesel engine,""
Good! One car I am not in the least sorry we will not see here in the U.S. Not only is it ugly, it is an automatic transmission only vehicle, not to mention overpriced. Good for us! I hope it never sells here if it is going to stay in that configuration!
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