Volvo Pioneers a Diesel Plug-In
Volvo breaks with the practical and bows an exciting diesel-electric hybrid, the V60.
A pioneering plug-in diesel-electric hybrid V60 is star of the Volvo stand at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, proving decisively that the Swedish automaker can offer more than just safe, practical cars. It can now make fast, "green" ones, too.
Diesel and hybrid aren't usually two words you'd associate with excitement, but we'll make an exception in the case of the V60. It promises to be a fast car, with nearly 300 horses under the hood, and it emits only a paltry 49g/km of carbon dioxide. It's a conventional diesel estate and a zero-emissions electric car, and will most likely offer exciting performance, too. What more do you want?
Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid
What is it? Volvo's superfrugal, superlow-emission diesel plug-in hybrid
What makes it hot? The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is powered by Volvo's 2.4-liter 5-cylinder D5 turbodiesel engine, producing 215 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque. With the electric motors, power output rises to 285 horses and 472 lb-ft of torque. Under normal circumstances, drive from the diesel engine is sent to the front wheels through a conventional 6-speed automatic gearbox. When the two electric motors chip in, additional power is sent through Volvo's new Electric Rear Axle Drive to transform it to 4-wheel drive. Using both sources of power, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 6.9 seconds. But the really impressive figures are the astonishing 49g/km carbon-dioxide emissions and ability to achieve 150 mpg with a range of 746 miles. For 32 of those miles, it can run on electric power alone, meaning zero-emissions driving around town, but it also has the range and power to cover big distances on regular diesel power.
What concerns us? Is hauling around a heavy, dormant diesel engine really an effective use of an electric drivetrain? Making it affordable is also going to be a huge challenge for Volvo.
How much and when? Pricing hasn't been announced, but the V60 is scheduled to be in dealerships in 2012.
Our verdict? Diesel-electric cars are the next chapter in the story of the hybrid, but it remains to be seen whether they are the answer to our driving needs or an overly complicated halfway house.
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So you are concerned about hauling a heavy (non-running) diesel around?
How about the 600+ lbs of batteries in the Nissan Leaf? (that's three big boys in the back seat, ALL the time!)
The real concern is "How are we ever going to reach some semblance of energy independence when auto writers are only concerned with the drag race to 60 mph?
Feature some cars with, say, only 100 hp or less and tell us about the maximum mpg.
That's what the world really needs.
Yes, I'm tired of oil wars.
Is hauling around a heavy, dormant diesel engine really an effective use of an electric drivetrain?You stated that the car gets 150 MPG, and then few sentences below, you ask the question I quoted?
Maybe you could show us a gasoline hybrid which gets better than 150 MPG fuel consumption? ("Volt" does not count, because nobody really knows what the fuel consumption is and will be on it, due to PR gimmicks.)
Why don't you take that Volvo for a spin instead, and then write an opinion piece on it?
And for the record, Mr. Aucock, Volvo did not pioneer a diesel-electric hybrid: Peugeot was first to come out with a production vehicle which sported a diesel-electric powertrain. Look up Peugeot 308 diesel hybrid when you have some time.
I just wonder what kind of automotive journalism this is, when readers know more about the subject than the journalist reporting on it...
"....breaks with the practical...." "....or an overly complicated halfway house."
How is this vehicle any less PRACTICAL or more COMPLICATED than any other hybrid vehicle?
How is this vehicle any less PRACTICAL or more COMPLICATED than any other hybrid vehicle?That is what I would like to know as well!
It would seem that our automotive "journalist" does not have any experience with a diesel powertrain vehicle. But hey, what he does have is an opinion, before ever having driven it!
I don't think the Peugot Diesel Hybrid is a plug in and would make Volvo the first to pioneer a plug in Hybrid of Diesel, as the article is titled.
Looks nice and the est. 125mpg is great - but would take a LONG time to make up for the $27,000 premium. Not sure this will sell well.
http://tiny.cc/jo001 (more pictures and pricing)