Volvo Previews World’s First Diesel Plug-In Hybrid– First Year’s Production Already Sold Out
Volvo previewed what is reported to be the world’s first-ever diesel plug-in hybrid at the 2012 Paris Auto Show– and it says the first year’s production run is already sold out.
According to TorqueNews, the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid will be limited in production for the 2013 model year. Only 1,000 examples will be built for its inaugural production run. After that, company officials said production may increase to 5,000 units for the 2014 model year.
Volvo Senior VP of Marketing Doug Speck said, “2013 will be one of the most intense years in the company’s history. None of our competitors can offer customers an equally ingenious car. Its uncompromising attitude to green motoring elevates hybrid technology to an entirely new level.”
The car uses a three-mode hybrid system that allows drivers to choose between all-electric, a traditional efficiency-minded hybrid, or a maximum-performance hybrid. The three driving modes are reportedly selectable via a dashboard-mounted button.
In pure electric or “Pure” mode, as Volvo calls it, the car will travel approximately 30 miles on a single charge and requires about 3.5 hours to recharge fully. In regular hybrid mode, the car can reportedly travel 600 miles between fill-ups and boasts a low greenhouse emissions level. In “Power” mode, the car receives an electric 70-horsepower boost to its 215 horsepower output and receives a whopping 147 lb-ft torque boost to the diesel engine’s already respectable 324 lb-ft rating, allowing the car to achieve maximum performance during spirited driving.
When making the most of its power, the car can reportedly travel from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds. Twenty years ago, that was supercar territory. What an age we live in when a diesel-engined, environmentally conscious family hauler can achieve such performance!
President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, Steven Jacoby said, “Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Now we’re taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver colour, an exclusive interior and generous standard equipment.”
Volvo says the car manages stellar fuel economy, claiming it can get 130 mpg in hybrid mode.
This is an idea I’ve been thinking should have been implemented for a long time. Traditionally, buyers of modern diesel-powered sedans and wagons would scoff at fans of hybrid automobiles because the diesels could achieve fuel economy on par with hybrids in most situations– and in some cases, the diesel would do better if most of the miles driven were on the highway.
Why wouldn’t you combine the two and produce a best-of-both-worlds automobile? I’m sure there’s an engineering answer to why this idea hasn’t seen success sooner. But meanwhile, in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen has been testing a diesel-electric hybrid reportedly capable of 261 mpg.
Welcome to your diesel-and-battery-powered future, folks.