Volvo to showcase diesel plug-in hybrid

A diesel hybrid – now that’s something kind of different. And, hey, why not make it a plug-in? 

That’s the unique direction Volvo is heading with a new V60, “a virtually production-ready car” it said it will reveal at a press conference in Geneva on March 1, just ahead of the big auto show there.

Volvo said the car would be on the market in 2012, although it wasn’t clear when or even if it would make it to the United States.

The regular V60, released last year, is sold in Europe.

Clearly, however, Volvo is aiming the V60 Plug-in Hybrid at the green-conscious driver who wants oomph too: It boasts 215 horsepower with a five-cylinder 2.4-liter turbocharged diesel engine, and powers a 70-hp electric rear axle drive with a 12 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery pack.

“In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure,” Volvo chief Stefan Jacoby said in a statement.

Volvo said the sports wagon can be driven around 30 miles on the battery alone. 

That pure-electric possibility makes fuel economy complicated to compute, but Volvo pegged the V60 Plug-in Hybrid fuel consumption at 1.9 liters per 100 kilometers – 125 mpg by our calculations.

Pete Danko, EarthTechling