The world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle [PHEV], the Volvo V60 PHEV, is also the world’s first luxury PHEV of any kind. “We are first in the industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation.
“The integration in the standard production flow gives the plug-in hybrid buyer the possibility to choose in principle all options available for the standard V60.”
Powered by a 2.4-liter inline five-cylinder engine and a 52kW electric motor, coupled with an 11.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack, for a total of 285 hp, the V60 can be driven in one of three modes.
“Pure,” electric-only mode, has a range of about 30 miles, “Hybrid” mode balances performance and economy, and “Power” mode engages both front and rear drive systems for all-wheel drive performance.
Apparently Volvo underestimated the demand for such a vehicle, and having sold out its first 1,000 2013 Volvo V60 PHEV units a little faster than expected, before they’ve even hit the showroom. Volvo plans to increase production for the 2014 model year, between 4,000 and 6,000 of the premium PHEV, a significant increase, but will still keep the chances of getting one pretty slim.
“The first year’s 1,000-car batch has sold out even before the car has reached the showrooms and the order books for next year’s cars are already filling up,” concludes Peter Mertens.