Volvo will introduce what it bills as the world’s first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
The system, which will be used to power the Swedish maker’s V60 wagon, will differ significantly from current hybrid powertrains, including traditional systems used in the Toyota Prius and more advanced plug-ins found in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Volvo’s plug-in will create a virtual all-wheel-drive system, using the diesel to drive the front wheels and the electric motors to drive the rear.
The V60 plug-in will be the first electric drive model from Volvo – though the maker is also working up a pure battery-electric vehicle based on the smaller C30 — and its lithium-ion battery pack is expected to yield about 32 miles when running solely in battery made. The rear-mounted electric motor can produce a maximum 70 horsepower.
But when the battery runs down – or extra power is needed – the 215-horsepower diesel kicks in. When they’re both operating together in Sport mode, the two power sources can produce 285 hp and a full 472 lb-ft of tire spinning torque, launching the V60 diesel plug-in from 0 to 60 in just 6.9 seconds.