Remember the ultra-efficient, albeit somewhat pricey, diesel-electric V60 Plug-In Hybrid wagon Volvo unveiled for the European market last month?
Well here is a preview of the version we’ll get in the U.S., and as previously confirmed it will feature a gasoline-electric setup.
The fact that the U.S. version requires gasoline rather than diesel isn’t the only major difference. In the U.S. Volvo has chosen its XC60 crossover as the basis, fitting it with a new-generation 2.0-liter turbo four, electric motor, and eight-speed automatic.
Debuting next week in concept form at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the XC60 Plug-In Hybrid will eventually offer American drivers three different modes to play around with: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
At the touch of a button on the center stack, the driver will be able to decide how the available power from the combination of the gasoline engine and the electric motor is to be utilized.
In Pure mode, the vehicle is powered solely by its electric motor with a range of up to 35 miles. The electric motor is rated at 70 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque and is used to drive the rear axle. It is powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery that takes around 7.5 hours to charge using a regular household power outlet and can be topped up on the move thanks to brake energy regeneration technology.
In Hybrid mode, the gasoline engine--rated at 280 horsepower and 280 pound-feet--and the electric motor cooperate to boost range, alternating or working together as required. Like a regular parallel hybrid, the electric motor is used for stop and go traffic while the gasoline engine kicks in during heavy acceleration or high speed driving.
Finally, in Power mode, both power sources work together to deliver maximum output of up to 350 horsepower. In this mode the vehicle is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and also benefits from the added safety of a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid all-wheel drive setup.
While official EPA numbers are still years away from release, Volvo is predicting that its XC60 Plug-In Hybrid should be good for 50 mpg combined when in Hybrid mode. The total driving range on a full charge of the batteries and the gas tank topped up should also come in at around 600 miles.
Sadly, Volvo hasn’t announced a firm sale date for the XC60 Plug-In Hybrid, stating only that it will arrive in showrooms in a couple of years. Our best guess would be sometime in 2014.
Press days for the 2012 Detroit Auto Show don't commence until January 9 but in the meantime visit out dedicated show page for all the latest updates.