Volvo Now Taking Orders in Europe for V60 Electric Hybrid
No Ford hybrid has ever been sold in Europe, and the Lexus HS isn't available either. But here's one hybrid Americans won't be driving: the Volvo V60 diesel plug-in hybrid. All German brands sell diesels in America, and there's no reason why Volvo shouldn't either. Europeans see it as the best of both worlds: the most fuel-efficient ICE, and a green plug-in hybrid.
The diesel is a solid five-cylinder turbocharged unit, giving it 215 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, while the electric motor is a 51 kW affair, with 148 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Nissan LEAF's motor produces 80 kW and 207 lb-ft of torque. The V60 is about 400 pounds heavier than a LEAF, probably due to its SUV-configuration.
But this Volvo has other virtues. First, it's a four-wheel drive. The diesel sends its power to the front wheels, whereas the electric motor works with the rear wheels. This set-up should provide better traction on snow, or for fast cornering. At very least, this hybrid should also be much more fuel-efficient than the standard diesel V60 model. This car really puts the driver in control.
Driving as an hybrid, there are two modes: the normal mode, where the car minimizes the use of the diesel engine, and a power mode for the best performance. There's also a "Save" button which tells the car to not fully discharge the battery, after a long highway trip, the driver can switch to the pure electric mode for the last few miles returning home, driving silently through the neighborhood.
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