By September 23, 2013 Read More →

Road Test: 2014 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid

2014 Volvo V60 Plug-In HybridThe Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid is an excellent example of what can be achieved by adding an extra electric motor to a diesel-engined car. This new Hybrid isn’t just the most economical car in the Volvo V60 range, it is also the fastest V60 diesel model. Sounds like a perfect combination!

The Volvo V60 Hybrid has basically two separate power sources. The front wheels are driven by the 5-cylinder, 2.4-litre diesel which is also used in the D5. With two turbochargers it delivers 158 kW (215 hp) and 440 Newton metres of torque. The rear wheels are driven by electric motor that produces peak output of 50 kW (70 hp) and 200 Nm. The electric motor gets is power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Installed under the floor of the load compartment, the compact battery pack consists of 10 modules each containing 20 cells. It is possible to drive up to 50 kilometres with the electric power alone. However, the driving range with electric power depends on driving route, driving style and driving conditions.

Car’s generator charges the battery pack when the diesel engine is running. The battery pack is also recharged with the brake energy regeneration. As this is a plug-in model, the car’s battery can be charged before the drive from a regular power outlet to maximise the use of the electric power. Recharging time varies from 3.5 hours (230V/16A) to 7.5 hours (230V/6A). While recharging, it is also possible to heat or cool the passenger compartment so it would be nice and comfortable to start the drive.

The car has a six-speed automatic transmission, and driving the Volvo V60 Hybrid is like driving any other V60 with an automatic transmission. The hybrid system offers a total of five different driving modes; Hybrid, Pure, Power, AWD and Save. Hybrid is the default mode. In the Hybrid mode, the system uses both diesel engine and electric motor to provide performance and fuel efficiency. In the Hybrid mode, the official average fuel consumption is 1,8 l/100km and the CO2 emissions are 48 g/km. However, your actual fuel consumption depends very much on how often you get to recharge the battery. If you can drive with the electric motor alone, the car uses basically no fuel. But if you never recharge the battery, then the consumption climbs closer to the figures of the D5 model.

If you want, you can drive always with the Hybrid mode, but in that case you would miss all the other great features this hybrid car has to offer. Using the different driving modes makes the hybrid system much more useful and enjoyable. In Pure mode, the car is driven just by electric motor as much as possible. In Pure mode, the drive is most eco-friendly but the battery pack goes empty quite quickly. Driving with electric power alone is most efficient in the city. If you want to save the battery power for driving in the city, you can choose the Save mode. The Save mode tries to ensure that there is sufficient battery power for about 20 kilometres of driving on electricity alone. If necessary, the high-tension generator will charge the battery pack.

The best performance is delivered in the Power mode. When the diesel engine and the electric motor work at the same time, they deliver combined peak power output of 285 hp. Volvo V60 Hybrid can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 6,1 seconds, and the top speed is 230 km/h. In Power mode, the throttle response is also much better. To mark its improved performance, which is almost on the same level with the petrol engined T6, this Hybrid model has a D6 AWD badge on the tailgate.

As the diesel engine drives the front wheels and the electric motor the rear wheels, this Hybrid can be a front-wheel drive and a rear-wheel drive, depending on the driving situation. When both power sources work at the same time, the car is an all-wheel drive. The AWD mode can be activated with a press of a button when the best traction is needed. There is no mechanical power transfer between the front and the rear axles, but the central control unit distributes power between the front and rear axle. When the AWD mode is chosen, the diesel engine operates continuously and the generator ensures that the charge level in the battery pack is sufficient to supply the rear axle with the necessary power. In the AWD mode, the four-wheel drive is active up to approximately 150 km/h.

By using different drive modes, the Volvo V60 hybrid can be easily adapted to different driving needs. It can be powerful, economical or provide additional traction with the all-wheel drive, depending what you need. This versatility is a great feature and something that you should consider if you are thinking about a hybrid as your next drive because not many other hybrid models can make it happen this well.

Specification

Engine

  • Diesel
  • 5-cylinder
  • 2400cc
  • Turbo
  • Hybrid

Power

  • Diesel: 158 kW (215 hp) / 4000rpm
  • Electric: 50 kW

Torque

  • Diesel: 440 Nm / 1500-3000rpm
  • Electric: 200 Nm

Transmission

  • 6-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 6.1 seconds

Top speed

  • 230 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 1.8 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 48 g/km

Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid 2014_SpeedDoctor Road Test_11

 

Category: Road Test
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