Volvo Car Corporation has unveiled its XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept at the North American International Auto Show, which features a new benchmark in hybrid technology.

“No other manufacturer delivers fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable performance car with a total of 350 horsepower (257 kW),” said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO, Volvo Car Corporation.

“The beauty with this plug-in hybrid technology is that you can keep all the power and capacity of your present car, combined with an even better range,” Stefan Jacoby said.

“The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept gives you up to 35 miles all-electric range (56 km according to the U.S certification driving cycle). Or you can drive it as a super-efficient hybrid with a fuel economy of over 100 miles per gallon (2.3l/100 km) according to the European driving cycle.”

An electric motor producing 51 kW – combined with a 206 kW four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine – also gives the driver a muscular power plant packing a total of 257 kW.

“The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept features an engine from our all-new, state of the art, four-cylinder engine family. Our new four-cylinder powertrains will get performance on today’s six-cylinder level. At the same time, they will also give consumers better fuel economy than present four-cylinder engines,” Stefan Jacoby said.

Pure Hybrid Power – three cars in one
The driver chooses the driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel. The buttons give the car three distinct temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

  • In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor. The operational range is up to 45 km (European certification driving cycle NEDC) / 56 km (charge depleting range, U.S certification driving cycle) with zero tailpipe emissions in urban traffic.
  • Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The petrol engine and electric motor cooperate to provide maximum driving pleasure with minimum environmental impact. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, the average fuel consumption rate is just 2.3 l/100 km with CO2 emissions just 53g/km. The car has a total operating range of up to 960 km.
  • In Power mode, the technology is optimised to create maximum possible power. The petrol engine with 206 kW and 380 Nm is combined with the electric motor with 51 kW and 200 Nm to deliver a total of 257 kW. The electric motor’s instant torque delivery contributes to the car’s acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.

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Four cylinders with the same power as a six-cylinder unit
The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder   turbocharged petrol engine from the forthcoming Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA) engine family. This engine produces 206 kW and maximum torque of 380 Nm. Power delivery to the wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.

“In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept we demonstrate that our forthcoming four-cylinder engines offer the same high performance as today’s sixes. At the same time, their fuel consumption will be lower than in current four-cylinder engines,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation.

The concept car carries a “T8” badge in-line with Volvo’s new nomenclature, which emphasises the combined 257 kW of the high-performance four-cylinder engine and the electric motor. This moves the car into territory previously only occupied by eight-cylinder engines.

“It’s time to stop counting cylinders,” Peter Mertens says. “Four-cylinder engines are the most effective way to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption without compromising customer expectations when it comes to driving pleasure and performance.” 

Reduction of parts, weight and fuel consumption
VEA is a modular range of diesel and petrol engines. The petrol versions come with direct injection, minimised internal losses and balance shafts for maximised comfort.