The diesel is a solid 5-cylinder turbocharged unit, giving it 215 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, while the electric motor is a 51 kW affair, with 148 lb-ft of torque. For example, the Nissan LEAF's motor produces 80 kW and 207 lb-ft of torque. The V60 is 400 pounds heavier than a LEAF, probably due to its SUV-configuration.
However, V60 has other virtues. First, it's a 4-wheel drive. The diesel spreads its power to the front wheels, whereas the electric motor works with the rear wheels. This set-up should provide better traction on snow, or for fast cornering. At very least, this hybrid should also be much more fuel-efficient than the standard diesel V60 model.
Driving as an hybrid, there are two modes: the normal mode, where the car minimizes the use of the diesel engine, and a power mode for the best performance. There's also a "Save" button which tells the car to not fully discharge the battery, after a long highway trip, the driver can switch to the pure electric mode for the last few miles returning home, driving silently through the neighborhood.
Volvo announced incredible 117 mpg fuel economy numbers driving in the normal hybrid mode, but there are too many factors to measure fuel economy of a plug-in hybrid. The 11.2-kWh battery pack is said to provide a 31 mile range, and while plausible, those are city miles.
The final big issue is the price. Continue reading
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