Volvo showcases XC60 plug-in hybrid concept

The 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is poised for imminent kick off, with a number of new concept cars surfacing ahead of the 
big day. 

One of the cars slated to be showcased comes from Volvo and is called the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept. The car looks like a SUV to my eyes with four doors and a plug-in port on the driver side fender. The XC60 concept operates in three different modes: pure, hybrid, and power.

Pure mode is all EV and with the battery pack and electric motor alone, the car is good for 35 miles of during in urban traffic per charge. 

Hybrid mode combines the battery power and the gasoline engine in a traditional hybrid system with a driving range of 600 miles and a rating of 50 mpg.

Meanwhile, power mode combines the power from the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and the electric motors for performance to drive the XC60 for 0 to 60mph in 5.8 seconds.

“The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique,” says Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby.

 “You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car’s renowned properties. No other manufacturer has succeeded in delivering fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable, spacious performance car with 350 horsepower on tap.”

The 4-cylinder engine in Volvo’s XC60 boasts 280hp with 280 lb.-ft. of torque, while the electric motor puts out 70hp and an additional 148 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Interestingly, the car has no traditional starter or alternator. Rather, it is equipped with integrated Starter motor and Generator (ISG) connected to the crankshaft between the engine and transmission. The ISG adds another 45hp that can be used during acceleration and charges the battery during braking.

The battery pack inside the car is a 12kWh unit located under the floor of the car. It can charge from a 12A 220V outlet in 3.5 hours – and from a normal 110V, 12A outlet, the battery needs 7.5 hours to charge. 

The car also includes an electric four-wheel drive system with the front wheels driven by the gasoline engine and the rear wheels by the electric system. 

Another interesting feature is the “save mode” that claims to save 12 miles of range by using the generator to top the battery off if needed – all to keep 12 miles of pure electric range under foot. 

We talked about Volvo’s V60 plug-in diesel hybrid back in February of 2011, and clearly, the vehicle manufacturer is pushing green concepts in a big way.