Volvo V60 Plugin Hybrid review (2012 onwards) MSN Cars UK

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Volvo V60 Electric Cars

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid (2012 onwards)

What: V60 Plug-in Hybrid prototype

Gothenburg, Sweden

Date: 2011

Price: £45,000-£50,000 est

Available: November 2012

Key Toyota Prius Plug-in Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera, 3008 HYbrid4, BMW ActiveHybrid 5

Volvo bridges the gap between the combustion engine and the electric-only car the V60 Plug-in Hybrid. Extra-strong eco powerful performance — and a reality come November

We don’t like: minor of extra weight over wheels, remains to be seen reality gets anywhere the fuel economy claims

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First impressions

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a world when it goes on sale next year it will the very first plug-in electric hybrid to hit the market. It be cheap — pricing is estimated at around £45,000-£50,000 but it is extraordinary.

A short while ago we the new Mercedes SLK55 AMG. a roadster powered by a 422hp V8 emits a remarkably modest CO2. Remarkable, absolutely, but not the stuff that green are made of.

Why mention the Merc Because the innocuous-looking Volvo V60 pictured here is capable of very nearly 300hp, yet claims the astonishingly low emissions of just 49g/km CO2.

It also has a theoretical combined economy of nearly 150mpg, yet 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds. thanks to the on-going optimisation is 0.7 seconds faster than announced, and now matches the V60 T6 turbo

Volvo Cars

How is this slightly possible? The clue is in the part of the V60’s hybrid With a big battery pack the boot floor that can be at home using a regular socket, Volvo says car will go up to 30 miles on electric alone.

The combination of this ability with Volvo’s 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel a machine that offers a flexible driving experience can deliver zero emissions, power, or something in between.

The V60 Hybrid is still nearly a away from series so it probably won’t surprise you to that the car we’ve sampled is a prototype. But you may be surprised to read it is also already a year

Volvo Cars

This is a of the kind of development that into such a project, for the V60 is an existing model, Volvo the process of bringing the hybrid to as akin to developing an entirely new It is incredibly complex.

Part of the comes from having a two the ‘D5’ engine under the provides 215hp at the front while the battery pack in the powers a 70hp electric that’s attached to the rear via an ERAD — that’s Rear Axle Drive.

Total combined output is 285hp, which together a maximum 472lb ft of torque this V60 hybrid more enough thrust to embarrass every hot hatch on sale not to mention a fair number of cars.

There are three modes: Pure, Hybrid and Pure is the electric mode, and this limits the V60 to rear-wheel and 70hp, 147lb ft of instant motor torque means it more than adequate at the of city centre speeds been designed to handle.

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Hybrid, meanwhile, the car make the decisions about to use the battery and when to deploy the engine. This prototype have the latest gearbox but by production Volvo hopes to the transition between propulsion virtually imperceptible.

Finally, uses the ERAD to boost This is where you can standing to 62mph in just 6.2 — the most of the dual drivetrain, the end squats slightly as the electric launches the car, before over to the diesel’s turbo as the increases.

Within yards the V60 to feel properly quick. all four wheels being it has immense traction, and the six-speed snaps through the cogs a dog that’s finally been let off its Hybrid or not, this car to go fast.

Ride and handling — 3 out of 5

The capability can also be exploited to extra stick in slippery there’s a button on the dash to both axles when though the V60 does a slick job of to the end with more grip of its own

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There’s no point trying to make a on the ride quality at this since Volvo had us lapping its smooth Gothenburg test But with nearly 300kg in weight over the rear you can imagine the spring and damper will be a little higher they were.

Compared to the set-ups Volvo is please to say it no ‘handles like a truck’, and it does feel slightly over cresting corners an attribute the test track to specialise in — it’s you’ll experience any actual in day-to-day driving.

Interior 4 out of 5

Volvo V60 Electric Cars

Volvo Cars

At a glance the Hybrid appears to be little than a very nicely regular V60 on on the inside, with leather and fancy wood. But a few moments more you’ll the Pure, Hybrid and Power on the centre console (no accident, word order. ).

Then when you switch it on find an all-digital instrument that will subtlety depending on driving mode. The with the floating level shows you exactly how much you can use before the diesel engine in is an especially clever touch.

changes include revision to the and cooling systems. There’s now a heater (Sweden is cold, and this saves the batteries for while the extra efficient control is also tasked maintaining the ideal battery

You can also pre-set the interior before you set off using the key-fob or a — do this while the car is into the mains to save the further. Cramming the batteries the car has meant raising the boot by 60mm, incidentally, slightly load space.

Volvo

Economy (5 out of 5) and Safety (4 out of 5 )

That’s not to say the V60 Hybrid isn’t practical, since alongside being an car and a hybrid it can tow up to 1,800kg. Doing so is to dent the fuel economy, but it is possible, none the less.

All the on the car are subject to homologation, but Volvo has run to the usual EU criteria, and that CO2 comes together with per 100km’ — the European for fuel economy, and equivalent to Wow.

That sounds ridiculous, given that the electric-only is enough to cover the average commute of many, many it does start to make at theoretical sense: keep the topped up and you won’t need to the diesel pump at your filling station very

A full recharge is said to 7.5 hours using a regular socket, but drops to as little as 3.5 using a fast charger still not as convenient as chugging in the but since the lithium ion cells no ‘memory effect’ you can recharge when only partially without issue.

Volvo is the batteries will last the of the car, which in its terms is 15-20 years; so while performance is likely to fall over time, the V60 will function as a hybrid even Regenerative braking and a start-stop also help the economy.

As for it’s a Volvo — do you need to ask? The Plug-in be tested above and beyond all requirements; over 150 prototypes are before it goes on sale, and of these will be sacrificed

The MSN Cars Verdict: 5 out of 5

Not only the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid be initially it won’t be easy to get of — the first run of highly cars is limited to just examples, of which the UK will be getting 130; but after it goes into ‘series and by 2013 you’ll be able to one in a variety of trim levels.

It does, however, qualify for the electric car grant, which knock £5,000 off the retail And beyond that there’s the £0 road duty. If you’re enough to get one as a company car, it cost just £80-a-month in tax.

Exceptional.

The blend of and eco motoring is similarly outstanding at point, and with as yet no direct on the horizon, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid an excellent choice for the well-healed, motorist who wants to show sensitive green side compromising too much on power.

Volvo V60 Electric Cars
Volvo V60 Electric Cars
Volvo V60 Electric Cars
Volvo V60 Electric Cars
Volvo V60 Electric Cars

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